JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Jeff Davish Parish Police Jury voted their long-awaited, new jail is ‘substantially complete’ at their meeting on Dec. 12.
The jail has been in the works since 2014, when parish residents passed a half cent tax that would fund the upkeep and management, but, the groundbreaking wasn’t until two years later. The building was finally finished in July of this year, but it needed the police jury’s approval before they could continue.
“Construction issues, you know, with trying to complete things to the specifications of the architect and engineers that drafted the plans for the jail," Chief Deputy Chris Ivey, said.
Needless to say, moving from a 62-bed facility to one three times its size, that holds about 180 inmates, is going to give staff and inmates plenty of room.
“There’s really not no walking space for anybody, officers included. You open up the door and you’re with the inmates," Commander of Corrections, Dustin Locke, said.
Locke said he believes this new facility will benefit everyone.
“It’s good not only for the inmates, but for the staff involved. Everything is state of the art, it’ll be safer," Locke said.
“There’s no place really for inmates to sit down and eat, so they have to sit in their bunk. Here, every inmate in every cell will have a spot to sit down and eat and will no longer have to eat inside their cell," he continued, noting the comparisons between the old and new jail.
Ivey said with this new space, the about 90 inmates being housed in Concordia will be brought back to Jeff Davis Parish.
“That way we don’t have to pay any other facility to store-house, those prisoners and take care of them for us," Ivey said.
He believes the new facility will deter crime in the area.
“Make sure that the people that want to go out and commit a crime, or harm somebody or do something illegal, they’re gonna know that, now, we have a new facility. We can lock them up and they can have a place to stay with us until they go to court," Ivey said.
Ivey said he anticipates the new jail will be able to house inmates by February.