CPSO: Women's Jail full or near capacity most of the time - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CPSO: Women's Jail full or near capacity most of the time

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

For a place most people don't want to visit, let alone stay overnight, the Calcasieu Correctional Center sure does stay awful busy.

"Very seldom do we look and say - 'Man we got a little room in the jail,'" said Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

Mancuso said despite a revolving door of inmates getting released on a daily basis, they're always near or at full capacity at the jail. Mancuso adds when it comes to the Women's Jail - they're more packed than ever.

"It used to be a woman got arrested for a drug issue or maybe a serious theft, but now they are being arrested for aggravated charges, of course along with drug charges and domestic violence also. Where you just didn't see that 30 years ago," said Mancuso.

Despite quadrupling the number of beds from their old location, Mancuso said it's a constant struggle to control the prison population for both men and women.

When the jail moved to its Broad Street location in the 90s, it went from 30 beds to 48 beds for women. Since then in the last 15 years they've built a 96 bed facility for women. You would think that would be enough, but Mancuso said they are currently housing 130 women at the jail.

Mancuso said to keep up they house some of the women other isolated areas and transfer other inmates out to other facilities. With no plans in the near future to expand the Women's Jail, Mancuso said they'll continue to manage with what they have.

"As long as people are committing crimes - that's our job and our duty to do that and keep in mind it's not just the Sheriff's Office that is putting people in jail. It's all the other law enforcement agencies also, who use this facility," said Mancuso.

Mancuso said they're currently doing a study of how much it costs to house an inmate. He estimates with meals, clothing, paying for deputies and medical -- it's upwards of $30 per day. 

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