10 Thousand sq ft, $2.7 Million Lincoln Jail Addition Proposed

New Additions to Lincoln Parish Detention Center

New Additions to Lincoln Parish Detention Center

A 10 thousand square foot, $2.7 million addition to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center was discussed extensively at yesterday’s meeting of the Detention Center Commission, and the body voted to send the proposal to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury’s (LPPJ) Building & Grounds and Finance Committees.

The commission is comprised of two police jurors – President Jody Backus and Joe Henderson, Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton, and Ruston Police Chief Steve Rogers.

Money to finance the construction would have to borrowed, and Stone claimed that current revenues could pay off the note. However, as the Police Jury would actually own the building, the jury would be the entity that would have to vote to authorize the bonds, and would ultimately be responsible should the jail’s self-generated revenues not be sufficient to pay them off.

In other words, the jury would have to “co-sign” the note.

Stone said that currently, the jail spends about $400 thousand/year housing overflow prisoners in other parish jails, primarily Ouachita. That money would stay here if they had the room to house the prisoners, he said.

One problem for the plan would be a decline in sales tax revenue. Earlier this week, we reported that sales tax receipts are declining for the Lincoln parish School Board. Therefore, any Lincoln Parish entity that collects sales taxes – city, police jury, sheriff, jail – will have the same percentage revenue decline.

For the budget year 2016, sales taxes account for about 58% of the jail’s revenue.

Also, another 25% ($1 million annually) of the revenues are paid to the jail from the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) to house state prisoners.

Stone said with the State of Louisiana “broke,” cuts to that revenue source are likely.

Said Stone, “The DOC has no money, folks. The state has no money. They’re going to start sentencing people to local time.” If that happens, the state won’t pay the approximately $25/day to house those prisoners in local jails, he said.

Warden Jim Tuten said one of the new additions would be used to house prisoners that are “trustees,” or those that can do work outside the jail with minimal supervision.

The other is for prisoners that have to be segregated from the general population, such as those with mental health issues.

It is unclear whether the proposal will be on next week’s agenda for the LPPJ.

Here is the budget for the proposed construction. Note that costs for furnishings and security systems are not included in the estimate.

In other business, the commission adopted an amended budget for the current calendar year.

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10 Responses to “10 Thousand sq ft, $2.7 Million Lincoln Jail Addition Proposed”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hmmmmm

  2. Angry Taxpayer! Says:

    If the DOC is broke and soon can’t pay for the detention center to house state prisoners, then why not dump the state prisoners back on the state and free up that space to house the parish prisoners Stone is currently paying Ouachita Parish to house? Come to think of it, why are we housing state prisoners in the first place while having to pay other parishes to house Lincoln Parish prisoners? Is Stone that dumb, and does he believe we are even dumber?

  3. Out to Pasture Says:

    What percentage of the detainees residing at the Detention Center are Lincoln Parish pre-trial and how long have they been awaiting trial?

  4. Simsjack Says:

    12 ft wire fence with 220 volt razor wire at top, Pup tents, no tv, no day time jobs other than picking up trash and manually cleaning out ditches etc equals decrease in dc population.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    They are trying to make it like Angola Prison! The courthouse it what 70 years old? Doesn’t the PJ need a new Courthouse? The public should have a nice place to come to (not to mention the employees) but yet they want to make a nice place for prisoners to come to!!! Good job you idiots!!! Who is behind this genius idea??? I can assure you that none of those prisoners are paying taxes…

    • vee Says:

      In my opinion, we need neither a new or larger prison nor a new courthouse. The one we have is only about 66 years old. Look at Claiborne Parish’s 155 year old courthouse that is still in use as a courthouse and is one of the most beautiful structures in Louisiana.
      I realize Lincoln Parish courthouse is one of the ugliest courthouses in the state, but that is not the taxpayers fault and we certainly don’ t want to pay for a new one when money everywhere is so scarce, especially the overburdened taxpayers’ pockets.

      • Anonymous Says:

        You obviously haven’t visited the courthouse and don’t know much about the agencies that occupy the courthouse. Offices are spread out everywhere which is non productive, employees are stacked up in single offices which is also non productive, there is no room to put anyone, files (that can’t be trashed) or anything for that matter. It isn’t energy efficient, the water isn’t drinkable, it doesn’t have an operable fire alarm or sprinkler system, the floors and some walls are molded, it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer…I mean I could seriously go on. Yes it is ugly…it looks like a jail. You need to do a little more research on the courthouse… and we aren’t Claiborne Parish. Everyone else is making progress to beautify Lincoln Parish and one of the most important structures in Lincoln is sitting right in the middle for everyone to see that is an eye sore on the inside and outside and is non-functional!!!

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