West Carroll, Detention Center, Moving, Inmates - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

West Carroll Detention Center Moving Inmates

Posted: Updated: Dec 20, 2012 06:50 PM

EPPS, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The West Carroll Detention Center's future is uncertain for both prisoners and employees.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections is moving state offenders because of safety concerns.

In October, the Department of Corrections was in West Carroll Parish and transported more than 70 inmates to other locations after prisoners tested positive for drugs or had contraband during an impromptu search.

One former employee says he wasn't surprised DOC is back.

Inmates gathered their few belongings, and waited for busses to take them to their new home.

Former employee at West Carroll Detention Center, Kenneth Carter says, "the inmates that we see moving from the compound to the warehouse over there those are the ones that are about to be transferred."

Emerald Companies runs the private facility, and Thursday the DOC stepped in.

Carter says, he wasn't surprised, "they had their own rules and regulations, you know they didn't go too much by the book, they made their own calls on different other things."

DOC is moving more 300 inmates from West Carroll to other facilities across the state.

A recommendation for relocation was made out of concerns over inadequate staffing on the night shift and uncertainty of the facilities' future.

Carter says, "you come to work you don't know whether you're going to come out safe or in a body bag."

Carter says while he worked at the detention center, they confiscated many weapons.

He says, "they have some shanks there that would go all the way through 1 or 2 people and it would be deadly for a person to come up on it you don't know if it's for an inmate or an officer."

Carter thinks this is a start of something better to come for the West Carroll Detention Center.

He says, "if they would put it under different hands I think it would work a whole lot more better if the sheriff would take it over."

15 offenders will remain at West Carroll temporarily to assist with the facility because it will still house pre-trial inmates.

The DOC says once inmates are at their new locations they will be allowed to make phone calls to let their families know where they are.

The prison office would not tell us if any employees have been let go because of the shut-down.

But, the West Carroll Sheriff says if the facility reopens, any employees let-go will have the opportunity to re-apply.

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