New Jeff Davis jail expected to open in July

New Jeff Davis jail expected to open in July
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The new Jeff Davis jail has been a project years in the making. After breaking ground nearly two years ago it's almost ready to open.

The $10 million jail in Jeff Davis Parish is close to completion.

"We're going to be going from 64 beds to almost 200 so it's two thirds larger," said Chief Deputy Chris Ivey.

The new facility has been talked about for years. The parish's current jail in Jennings was built in the 1960's, that faces constant maintenance problems, and couldn't house the majority of the parish's inmates.

"It's been needed for a long time," said Ivey. "We definitely don't need to keep paying another parish to house our prisoners."

Ivey says right now they have over 90 inmates housed nearly three hours away in Concordia Parish.

Jeff Davis Parish pays around $25 a day for each prisoner staying there, with some staying as long as six months.

Ivey hopes this new jail means keeping that money in Jeff Davis Parish, and spending it to hire more officers.

"We need some dedicated individuals that are willing to work in an environment where you have dangerous people," he said.

Jeff Davis Parish was able to buy the land, and build the jail using $10 million from the state's capital outlay program.

In addition, taxpayers approved a half-cent sales tax in 2014 to help fund maintenance and operations of the jail.

There's new technology throughout the entire facility. Ivy says the jail will have air conditioning unlike the current one, but he says that's only being added to make sure the equipment doesn't overheat.

With the jail expected to open in July, Ivey believes it's a facility that will be beneficial for the parish.

"We're trying to make Jeff Davis Parish a safe place to live, and that's why we want to have a jail that's capable of locking people up that need to be locked up," he said.

If you are interested in working at the new jail click HERE.

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