New locks, doors, camera systems for Pointe Coupee Detention Center
POINTE COUPEE, La. (WAFB) - Pointe Coupee Detention Center is starting $3-5 million in renovations to advance security at the 34-year-old facility.
Workers at the facility say the adult prison is in desperate need of repairs and updated security.
“We had a lot of rusting, broken locks and broken doors, camera systems that were outdated. Luckily, through the parish government they got funding to be able to update and remodel a lot of the stuff we have,” explained Warden Brent Plauche.
After years of waiting for funding, Pointe Coupee Parish Government officials secured enough money to fix detention center areas like the bathrooms, windows, and other needed repairs. However, Warden Plauche’s biggest concern is security.
“When inmates can manipulate a lock because it’s so old that’s an issue, when you have somebody on a capital murder who can manipulate a lock, that’s a security issue,” added Plauche.
Plauche says with state funding, they will start updating the facility soon, and the first item on the list is getting new locks and doors. He says in the past, inmates have gotten away with using paper or plastic to prop the door open.
It’s not just the inside that needs work. The warden says outside the facility could use help increasing security.
“So, I have been doing corrections work for 30-something years, and I never thought in my 30 years that I would worry more about people trying to get into my jail than get out. It’s an ongoing problem throughout corrections, our juveniles. We have criminals who recruit these juveniles to try to actually cut through the fences to get into my jail to give contraband or drop off contraband, or whatever,” said Plauche.
Plauche states they will get a new camera system to help guards monitor the fences.
“So just as it is easy to bring in dope, it’s just as easy to bring a gun. That’s my fear, is one, somebody is going to cut through the fence, get through our old windows and pass off some type of weapon to escape,” added Plauche.
Warden Plauche says they are planning to move some of the inmates this week to another detention center while they start the renovations.
They hope to start the work as soon as possible. The work is expected to be completed by January 2023.
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