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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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New Lafourche jail set to open Dec. 1

New Lafourche jail set to open Dec. 1

Although there have been some construction delays, the Sheriff’s Office believes the new Lafourche Parish jail will be worth the wait.

Construction on the 127,000-square-foot facility at LA 3185 and Veterans Boulevard near Thibodaux is now scheduled for “substantial completion” on Sept. 14, the Sheriff’s Office announced. The final completion date will be 60 days later, and inmates will be moved there beginning Dec. 1.

Because construction had been delayed by weather conditions, a grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 28, said Lt. Brennan Matherne.

The $40 million jail will accommodate up to 600 inmates and will be operated as a “direct-supervision facility” where officers will interact and work with inmates, Sheriff Craig Webre said.

The Sheriff’s Office purchased 42 acres last year for $962,775. The jail will not stretch over the whole property, but the land couldn’t be subdivided for sale.

The new jail will implement evidence-based prisoner re-entry initiatives to help inmates get back onto their feet, the sheriff said.

“I am most excited about the many opportunities to make positive changes in peoples’ lives and assist them in becoming productive citizens,” Webre said Friday. “It brings to the parish a modern jail facility which is safer and has sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the parish.”

As a direct-supervision facility, officers will interact and work with inmates, Webre said.

“The research has shown that is a much more effective model that reduces assaults on guards and inmates and has a better outcome for behavior management,” Webre said. “It will offer us a once in a lifetime opportunity to affect the future of corrections and quality of life for the citizens we serve for the next century.”

Webre believes the direct supervision of inmates will also help prevent incidents such as the one reported last week when an inmate was charged with sexually assaulting two other inmates.