Jail Construction Under Way

Facility to hold inmates, housing, training center

Jail construction under way

The Advocate

November 29, 2012

BY MARSHA SILLS Acadiana bureau

LAFAYETTE — By this time next year, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office plans to move its “road crew inmates” and those in work release and rehabilitation programs from its downtown jail and annex into its public safety complex now under construction on West Willow Street, Rob Reardon, corrections director, said.

“This will give us additional flexibility and additional space to some degree downtown,” Reardon said.

The downtown jail was constructed more than 20 years ago for about 380 inmates, but more than 950 inmates were at the jail as of Friday, he said.

Road crew inmates are lower-security inmates who work in crews under the supervision of deputies, Reardon said.

“We have 110 inmates coming out a day,” Reardon said. “That’s a lot of traffic. Moving them here will minimize the impact downtown.”

The public safety complex sits on 29 acres and will house several buildings, including a 31,285 square foot secure housing facility for 216 inmates. Another building will serve as transitional housing, providing 320 beds for those in work release, rehabilitation and re-entry programs.

A third building will house training and inmate video visitation services, both of which are housed in old school sites. A warehouse on the property will serve as a processing center for offenders and will house other services such as laundry and supplies.

A grove of oaks on the property will be developed into a public park.

Construction on the $24 million project began about six months ago and is expected to be complete by July, said Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Capt. Colby Barbier, the project manager.

The project was funded by a bond sale and the debt will be repaid by an existing parishwide millage.

Ratcliff Construction is the project’s contractor, and the complex was designed by Grace & Hebert Architects.