West Monroe jail to close in spring 2020

Source: KNOE

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - West Monroe PD says the West Monroe Correctional Center will soon cease operating.

According to a news release, the jail will close around April 1, 2020. The Ouachita Correctional Center will handle further operations.

The news release goes on to say:

The City of West Monroe is one of the few municipalities in Louisiana that still operate a jail. West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell said over the last 10 years, the number of inmates housed at the West Monroe Correctional Center has declined significantly. Chief Terrell said the Correctional Center is no longer housing federal and state inmates because of new requirements for housing and transportation. Fewer than 20 inmates a day are housed in the West Monroe Correctional Center.

Currently, the annual budget for the West Monroe Correctional Center is more than $874,000, not including the cost of building maintenance or liability insurance. With those costs included, the City of West Monroe spends nearly $1 million a year to operate the Correctional Center.

The Ouachita Parish Correctional Center has agreed to house inmates from West Monroe for $31.77 per day. Based on last year’s number of inmate incarceration days at the West Monroe Correctional Center, the annual cost would be approximately $240,000, which is significantly less than the current cost to operate the City’s jail facility.

Chief Terrell said some of the funds that were allocated for jail operations would be used to fund additional patrol officers, specifically for community policing.

“This was a very difficult decision that has been made, but financially, the City could not continue to operate the jail when a much lower cost alternative was available,” said Chief Terrell.