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Sunday, March 24, 2019



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Sheriff’s Office to offer public jail tours

Sheriff’s Office to offer public jail tours


The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is giving the public an opportunity in January to see its newly completed jail.

Several public officials have already toured the $40 million Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex during its grand opening on Dec. 19, and now residents will have a chance to walk through the facility.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is offering three public jail tours beginning at 2 p.m. Jan. 6. The second tour will be conducted at 6 p.m. Jan. 7, and the third is planned for 6 p.m. Jan. 8.

Registration is required, and the deadline to register is 5 p.m. Jan. 4.

Construction of the 118,095-square-foot structure at La. 3185 and Veterans Boulevard near Thibodaux began in 2016 after parish residents in 2014 approved a 0.2 percent sales tax for the project.

Inmates will be moved from the parish jail just across the road in about three weeks, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Originally built in 1976, the current facility holds about 245 inmates. With little room to expand the aging building, a number of parish inmates are sent to other parishes at an added cost, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The new complex will house more than 500 inmates, with room to grow, and will focus on rehabilitation and reducing the rate of recidivism, the Sheriff’s Office said. The facility will provide education on job interviews, parenting and other training to try to help inmates become productive citizens.

The department provides opportunities for inmates to earn high school or higher education credits, the Sheriff’s Office said. Students from Nicholls State University will help lead some of these programs in the new facility.

Lafourche sheriff’s Lt. Brennan Matherne said the jail tours will help highlight how the new facility will operate.

“This is certainly an opportunity for the public to see their tax dollars at work,” Matherne said. “This is Sheriff Craig Webre’s vision that he presented to the voters in 2014, and it has been realized. Citizens now have the opportunity to see what the future of corrections looks like for Lafourche Parish. We understand some people may never want to see the inside of a ‘jail,’ but we encourage citizens to come see what we intend to accomplish to provide a better quality of life for all residents. We especially challenge those who may have negative thoughts about the new facility, rehabilitation or corrections in general to come and see it first-hand. Give us an opportunity to show you a new perspective.”

If you’re interested in a jail tour, contact Sgt. Karyn Dardar at 860-7575. Attendees need to submit their names, phone numbers and the names of other persons attending the tour. Identification will be required during the tour, which is for those 17 and older.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-7639 or at dan.copp@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.