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Officials say St. Landry Parish Jail is overpopulated

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said he is working with Parish President Jessie Bellard and other criminal justice officials to address the growing number of inmates.
Posted at 7:10 PM, Mar 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 20:10:04-04

Some officials from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff Department said the parish's jail is is overpopulated and something has to be done about it.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said he is working with Parish President Jessie Bellard and the District Attorney to help re-locate some inmates and trustees to facilities outside of the parish.

"Today our out-of-parish inmates is 51 compared to the 100-plus that we've had in parish jails throughout the state in the last two or three weeks," Guidroz said.

While this has been a problem for a while, Guidroz said the Parish Government announced they will no longer be paying to house inmates outside of the parish after July 1.

Guidroz said by law, the parish government is responsible for funding the housing of inmates outside of the parish, but he is willing to assist with the process.

"They [parish government] are putting together a project that is going to house trustees for us, here in Opelousas" Guidroz said. "That is going to be a big, big help for us. They'll be able to hold at least 50, maybe 60 trustees at one time."

Some residents like Marcus Amos said they believe in prison reform so people don't become repeat offenders.

"We done destroyed all of these young folks," Amos said. "Let's help the young folks. Let's not build our country on destroying the lives of young kids. Let's take these young kids because we know we did not guide them, America. Let's just tell them the truth. We failed as the ones here before these kids."

Amos said he believes the city of Opelousas is in need of positive programs for youth and amenities for residents, so people can focus on being productive in society.

"All them people in that jail, if we get them to stand up and know that they are going to be appreciated and handled up right, they [are going to] act that way," Amos said. "But if we put them in a position where they never get a fair shot, well we're creating a situation where we [are] now."

While a date has not yet been confirmed for a second facility to house St. Landry Parish inmates, Guidroz said he is meeting with the Parish President this week to come up with some solutions.