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Calcasieu correctional facilities months away from opening due to hurricane damage

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Hurricane Laura caused severe damage to the Calcasieu Correctional Center and Sheriff’s Prison and just about every other building at the Sheriff’s office. Repairs are nowhere near complete.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso says most of the 800 or so pretrial inmates who would be there are scattered around the state.

“Some are close, facilities that can handle it that are close. Some of them are in Catahoula and northern parishes and eastern parishes, so whoever can take them, we try to send them to them,” Mancuso said.

They’ve been using video conferencing for many hearings, though the sheriff says they can house a few inmates for trials. He admits some families complain.

“Obviously, they’re not here and they can’t touch them, see them, and so it makes it a little more stressful on the families, and we understand that, and we are working through that and trying to work with facilities that have them,” Mancuso said.

Mancuso says the Sheriff’s Prison may be open by the end of the year, while the Correctional Center likely won’t be ready to receive inmates until next year.

In-person visiting at Calcasieu jail facilities stopped before the hurricanes due to the pandemic. The sheriff says they are working to improve video visitation with inmates for the future.

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