Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jennings mayor at odds over jail quarantine guidelines

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:08 PM CST
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Jefferson Davis Parish, LA (KPLC) - COVID-19 regulations mean fewer inmates can be held at Jeff Davis Parish Jail, and at least one official wants to see changes.

Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn said there has got to be a safer way to keep what he calls “dangerous people” off the streets.

“We are tired of seeing arrested suspects on felony charges denied booking procedures in the parish jail. Only to go back out into the community and commit further crimes - heinous crimes, murder, DWI’s,” Guinn said.

Calling for a change, Guinn took to Twitter to try to capture the attention of the citizens of Jennings.

“To get out on social media was a boost of morale to our officers to let them know that we are fighting for them, and we’re fighting for the citizens of Jennings to make sure everybody knows that we want a safe community too. We want people to be in jail,” Guinn said.

Jeff Davis Parish Chief Deputy Chris Ivey said the issue sprung from the pandemic. There is not enough room at the parish jail to hold the alleged felons.

“We’re following the guidelines that we’ve been set by the CDC and the Department of Corrections, because these individuals, even though they’ve been arrested and they’re booked in our jail, the majority of them are pre-trial inmates which means they haven’t been found guilty,” Ivey said.

The restrictions forcing a 10-day isolation period of an inmate upon initial booking is causing backup in the jailing process.

But the magnitude of the crime is being taken into consideration.

“As far as a murder, a shooting, or rape, or something like that, we’re going to accept those,” Ivey said. “If we have to transport them to another jail. We have contacts with other places where we can put them.”

The accused are not getting away with the crime they allegedly committed.

The sheriff’s office said they are still to be held accountable for their actions, and they will be summoned to court.

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