LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center holds more than 1,000 inmates.
The jail was designed in 1986.
KLFY has received calls from viewers regarding bad conditions and overcrowding in the jail.
According to Sheriff Mark Garber, that is something prison leaders have tried to change in recent years.
“The thing that I need the public to understand is that anytime you have a concentration of about a thousand people in a small building that was designed in 1986, we’re going to have these kinds of issues,” says Sheriff Garber.
We received a tour of the facility to see its current state.
The tour starts in the booking room.
“We’ll dress them out, do a search, fingerprint, ID. That’s where we are starting to get all of that information,” says Warden Catherine Fontenot.
We then visit the first floor, a place for inmates who have proven they can be trusted in a group setting.
“General housing like I said if there is a guy who comes in, we know a little bit more about them and it also depends on their charges,” says Fontenot.
Inmates also have access to a recreational area.
The second floor mostly consists of a kitchen.
As you move up, a chapel is found on the third floor.
The fourth floor usually is host to new inmates.
“This is their home. This is their home away from home. It’s pretty clean. It’s cleaner than my sons,” says Fontenot.
The top floor contains inmates dealing with mental health problems.
“Has a tablet system which definitely helps them keep that connection with their support from the outside,” says Fontenot.