In a few weeks, on-site drug testing will be possible for the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Currently, their testing has been limited and they've had to outsource for confirmation.
The state-of-the-art machine is the latest technological innovation for the LPCC. It will provide more accurate drug testing on-site capable of testing urine, blood, and saliva. Director of Corrections, Rob Reardon says it's a win-win for the system.
“We drug test about 150 people every week and it's an opportunity to manage our expenses while potentially in the future generating some revenue,” said Reardon.
Currently, the center uses what's called a “dip test” and any positives are sent to a California lab for confirmation. It costs between seven and $10 per test-all at taxpayers' expense.
The new device will cut down on an extra two to three steps, which can often be costly. That means no more mailing out drug tests all the way to California for positive confirmation. The testing machine does not require a chemist, only a trained technician. Instead of waiting three to four days to handle a drug violation, it will now take just a few hours.
“Obviously, it's keeping everyone within certain parameters and so drug use is so prevalent and we want to hold individuals accountable. So, this will provide us a real tool for doing that,” said Reardon.
The machine did not cost taxpayers any more money. The center worked out a rental agreement. Reardon says as an added bonus, they might even generate revenue later down the line.
“We're hoping to partner with other entities like drug court, juvenile court, probation parole and those types of things,” said Reardon.