TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Failing infrastructure at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail has prompted local leaders to band together to resolve a problem without taking extreme measures to evacuate the prison.
Joint efforts between Tangipahoa Parish Government and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office have crews working around the clock to resolve a plumbing problem.
"What our crews have accomplished over the last few days, including around-the-clock days of digging into the underground system of pipes, is sadly just a band-aid to a much more serious issue," Miller said.
Currently, Miller and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, along with key leaders from TPG and the Jail, have collaborated to develop a plan to resolve the issue and to ultimately transition the dated prison facility to more modern plumbing standards.
"It's going to take time, and it's going to take money," Miller said, adding that these are dollars that will come directly from the parish's general fund.
The Governor's office assisted the efforts by providing Louisiana National Guard equipment, in the form of a portable kitchen, which was needed to prepare the required 1800 meals a day.
"Although very disruptive to operations, this repair was necessary to finally fix decades of problems with a permanent solution rather than a quick temporary fix. Unfortunately, there is much more work to be done throughout the jail but I am pleased to see President Miller taking the 'fix it right the first time' approach," Edwards said. "We are also grateful for the National Guard and their commitment in assisting us during this repair."
Built in the early 1980s, the Tangipahoa Parish Jail houses approximately 560 inmates at capacity. It has been widely-criticized as being out-of-date and sorely needing improvements to keep pace with changes in technology as well as best-practice management of correctional facilities.