Posted: Jan 14, 2011 5:56 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Jan 14, 2011 5:57 PM
Renovations to the Iberia Parish Jail are compete. Since it first opened in 1990, the jail has been without one of the most basic forms of security-a fence.
Officials say it isn't uncommon for trespassers to come on the property.
Lieutenant Ryan Turner with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office, said "it's been an ongoing problem the jail has always faced because of the logistics. It was built without a fence or basically a barrier to keep people off the property."
It's no longer a problem thanks to parish government. Council member, Larry Richard, said the 10-foot fence was costly-- carrying a price tag of about hundred thousand dollars--but a necessity.
He explained, "the fence is a major deal, they have to be able to be able to keep contraband away from the jail as much as possible."
In the past, trespassers could walk right up to an inmates window and attempt to smuggle them in goods.
Turner explained, "people would walk up to the actual jail, inmates were breaking out windows and lowering sheets and people were tying either narcotics or cell phones things like that in the sheets and the inmates were able to or attempt to bring them into the jail by pulling them up."
Most of the time the items were confiscated quickly, but officials hope the fence will eliminate any future exchange of contraband.