Detention Center finds way to cover costs

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It takes a lot to run a Detention Center (DC) and since the reinvestment act, the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center’s numbers have decreased from close to full capacity (564 inmates) to under 400 inmates. With the reduction in the DOC population due to the reinvestment act, this means a lot of empty beds at the DC after losing around 150 state prisoners over the last 3 months.

Also, the DC was concerned after a special session scare when a budget proposal from Gov. John Bel Edwards threatened to cut the state per diem for inmates ($24.39 per day) by $5.

In an effort to find additional revenue for its operations, the DC began accepting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in need of a temporary place to stay. These detainees are adult males who have completed their hearings and processing and are on their way back to their home countries. The Natchitoches Parish DC is being used as a staging area before these detainees can be placed on flights out of Alexandria.

“We’re doing what we need to do to make things better for the DC, its employees, and the community,” said Chief of Corrections Roger Henson.

The federal rate for inmates is $43 per day. There’s no timeline on how long this arrangement will last. A group of 74 was transferred to the DC last night, July 19, and Henson said they will continue to accept groups as long as they can. This is a “move in, move out” arrangement so each group is expected to stay at the DC for a few weeks at the most. These detainees are not prisoners and haven’t been convicted or charged with anything.

2 thoughts on “Detention Center finds way to cover costs

  1. What people do for money….. I think this is a bad decision because these people will do anything for their freedom. They don’t speak English and they can be talking to each other in their native language and planning their Escape and the guards don’t even know it. This is just crazy.

    • How do you know they don’t speak English? As people seeking a better life in this country, they probably speak English as well as any average American. As for their great plan to escape: I seem to remember several prison breaks from jails and prisons all over the country, and those inmates didn’t rely on a foreign language to organize those. Plain ol’ English was just fine. Inmates use a language they create for various purposes. They don’t have to make up words. They just make words and phrases that have meanings different from what we understand.

      Right now they haven’t been charged or convicted of any crime. But if they try to escape, they’ll be charged with a crime, get sent back to their country, and have to stand trial and be punished for the crime they committed here in the US. And I’m betting jails in some of their countries aren’t as safe or clean as US jails are. Not to mention the poor quality of food, overcrowding, and abuse prisoners sometimes face from guards.

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