A new jail for Jeff Davis, planning begins for regional jail - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

A new jail for Jeff Davis, planning begins for regional jail

JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Last month, KPLC told you about overcrowding issues at the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail. It was built in the 60s and is in dire need of an update. But there's good news.

Sheriff Ivy Woods has kept his fingers crossed, waiting to hear if funding is available for a new jail. His wishes have come true.

"We have got approximately $10 million for our regional jail project," exclaimed Woods.

The funding will come from the state and is part of a capital outlay project.

"There's $835,000 in Priority 2, that's used in planning stages of the jail. The rest is in Priority 5 that would be issued out a year later," said Woods.

And their prisoners aren't the only ones moving.

"The regional plan that we've made throughout the parish is to be able to take prisoners from Lake Arthur, Welsh, Elton and Jennings," said Woods.

So, how will the new jail compare to their current one?

For starters, they can only house 62 prisoners. The new one will hold 200.

"We can only hold four females at this time," said Woods.

Also, their current jail has one isolation cell that doubles as a drunk tank.

Woods said their new one will have, "anywhere from 10 to 15."

Right now, Woods said there's no definite timeline on when they can move because they first need to find a new location for the jail.

"We're looking at properties in Jennings towards the west side of town," said Woods.

Wherever it is, Woods said the extra space will help as an investigative tool, "We have over a thousand warrants that need to be served. And in that process, we can have people that don't want to be in jail offer us some information with past crimes and murders that we do have in the parish."

A win for the community, the Sheriff's Office, and even inmates will see a newer facility.

The funding is, in part, thanks to their police jurors, who last month, moved the $10 million funding request for the new jail, to the top of the capital outlay list.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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