Nov 19, 2012 12:13 PM by AP
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - By this time next year, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office plans to move its road crew inmates and those in work release and rehabilitation programs from its downtown jail and annex into its public safety complex now under construction.
Rob Reardon, corrections director, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/QSV3HG ) road crew inmates are lower-security inmates who work in crews under the supervision of deputies.
The public safety complex sits on 29 acres and will house several buildings, including a 31,285 square foot secure housing facility for 216 inmates. Another building will serve as transitional housing, providing 320 beds for those in work release, rehabilitation and re-entry programs.
Construction on the $24 million project began about six months ago and is expected to be complete by July, said Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Capt. Colby Barbier, the project manager.
The project was funded by a bond sale and the debt will be repaid by an existing parish-wide millage.
Barbier said inmate labor will be used for painting, landscaping and sidewalk construction on the project to help reduce costs to the taxpayer.
Inmates likely will not move on site until November to allow time to train personnel working in the new, secure facility, which incorporates a direct supervision style of inmate management, Barbier said. In direct supervision, barriers between correctional deputies and the inmates they manage are removed.
The secure facility was designed so the inmates are supervised in common areas, with no glass or doors to separate them from deputies.
At least one section of the downtown jail was renovated a few years ago to implement direct supervision.
Reardon said that there are no plans to expand the direct supervision management style to other areas of the jail.