Winn Parish’s inmates are currently housed in a 47-bed jail directly above the courthouse.
With such a low capacity, some inmates have to be transferred to other parishes while they do their time, which gets expensive.
“It costs the police jury twenty-four dollars and thirty-nine cents a day to house these inmates in other places. And by having our own facility big enough to house all of our inmates in the parish, it will save them money.”, explains Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan.
The jail is over 50 years old, and the conditions of the cells are continuing to worsen.
“Aside from deterioriating conditions inside the jail cells like rust and just normal wear and tear, plumbing is a big concern and it causes a lot of problems just below in the courtroom.
The damage here on the ceiling has been caused when those inmates get angry. They stop up the commode and it has caused many problems here in the courtroom. Therefore, it re-enforces the need for a new jail.”, says our Brandon Lawrence, who visited the jail.
The new jail building will have a capacity of 150 inmates and will feature modern technology, like an elevated command center in the middle of the building.
It will allow employees to have full eyes on all sides of the jail.
Funding for the new jail was recently approved through the state bond commission, and Winn Parish is currently working with architects to bring the project to bid this spring, with anticipation of construction starting this summer.
“We’ll get out of the old jail. The old jail is just a maintenance nightmare of keeping it up, keeping it clean, it’s just a steady work in progress.” , says Sheriff Jordan.
The jail is expected to be completed by December 2017 if construction begins this summer.