IBERVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The Iberville Parish Jail is back open for business after having been closed since August 18, 2017, but on Thursday, employees returned to the facility in Plaquemine.
Inmates have been housed in Jackson, Louisiana. They will be steadily bused back to the jail. Sheriff Brett Stassi says they will return in small numbers (around ten at a time), so that medical officials can evaluate them before re-entry.
Stassi says one of the biggest improvements is the heating and air conditioning system.
"We used to have heat and air, and we couldn't control the amount of air going into each room," Stassi said. "It made it uncomfortable, not only for the inmates, but for the employees there."
They also installed new floors, repainted most of the walls, and installed new security cameras. The showers were redone and the inmate bunks were improved. They even added a new phone with a Skype feature so inmates can see their friends and family.
"We first need to know some of these inmates are pre-trial inmates and they haven't been convicted of anything at the time, so I think it'll be a nicer working environment for also my employees," Stassi said. "We've done all those things to make it better for everybody concerned."
Stassi says the parish spent around $2 million on the improvements. Some inmate labor was involved to reduce costs. Stassi says he's grateful for the commitment that the parish has made to the project.