Northside resident not in favor of parish jail being relocated

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 14:06:04-04

Discussions about where the new Lafayette Parish jail should be are raising concerns for people who live on the Northside.

The ordinance, up for final adoption Tuesday, would clear the way for a new jail next to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office facility on West Willow Street.

Those who attended a town hall Wednesday night made it clear, they don't want a new jail in their neighborhood.

Several dozen in attendance were all in favor of not having the jail moved to the Northside of Lafayette. Many of them feeling, it would do more harm than good to be relocated.

"They are going to overbuild so they can take in more of these state and federal prisoners to get more money. This is a money-making affair. We just don't want it in our backyard."

Some who were at the town hall are worried more people would be jailed if the facility moves to the Northside.

"Obviously that is something that our organization is completely against and that's a concern for us especially with it being in a predominantly African-American community we are predominantly African-Americans are incarcerated the most,” said VOTE Policy Coordinator, Kelly Garrett.

"I am repeating what constituents are telling me and they are feeling as though with the proper policing in the area that it would probably bring down some crime because I see so many cop cars,” said Lafayette Parish Councilman, A.B. Rubin

One man who says he worked for the sheriff's office agrees jail conditions are not up to par. He says when inmates are released, they'll stay in those neighborhoods.

"If inmates escape they catch them faster because there's more policing going on downtown but if you move the jail on this end but you don't increase the policing, one escape with less policing can lead to something bigger it only takes one."

"Bottom line is there is a need for and someday there will be a new correctional facility built in Lafayette Parish is just a question of where,” said Lafayette City Councilman, Glenn Lazard.

The councilmen who were in attendance say once it is built, the new jail would replace the jail downtown.

The discussions continued Thursday night at a town hall held by members of the Louisiana NAACP. Some said they are not in favor of the project.

"We want everybody to know in the neighborhood, outside the neighborhood that we are not in favor and people that are at home may not know about it so we want them all here so we can give them facts as to what is going on," explained Leroy Barrington.

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