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Jail budget needs solution

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In the late 1990s and first few years of the 21st century, the Lincoln Parish Detention Center was reportedly getting a little too crowded.

During this time, pre-trial inmates had to be released on their own recognizance on a regular basis to make room for other detainees.

In recent years, the space issue seems to have been alleviated because the parish has contracted with LaSalle Management Company, which has room at other facilities.
But now the parish is facing another issue that could make it necessary to rid the LPDC of some pre-trial prisoners, whether it be by putting them in home incarceration or other means.
The Detention Center Commission is not receiving enough revenue for the expenses of caring for all prisoners for which the parish is responsible, which includes parish and pre-trial inmates, regardless of where they are housed.

Over time, the length of incarceration time for pre-trial prisoners has drastically increased due to more felony arrests and mandatory time on certain charges.

Because of this issue, along with cost-of-living increases, the quarter-cent sales tax is no longer sufficient, and the Detention Center is facing a deficit.

As a result, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury has been forced to cut some vital services in the community. The city of Ruston and Jury not only pay $15,000 and $85,000 annual allocations, respectively, into the LPDC Commission budget, they are also responsible for any deficit, with the jury picking up 85 percent and the city taking 15 percent of it.

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