Caddo Sheriff Says Jail Crowding Is Now Critical
Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator says the jail situation in Shreveport at the Caddo Correctional Center is at a crisis level and something has to be done. He says this problem has been getting worse and worse over the past few years. The sheriff wants members of the parish’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee to get together on Tuesday to talk about solutions.
This panel began meeting back in 2008 when jail overcrowding was critical and the sheriff says we are back in the same boat today.
What Do the Numbers Look Like at the Jail?
Prator says CCC was built to hold 1,070 inmates, but there are more than 1400 inmates in the facility today. He says more than 250 of them have been waiting for a year to get to trial. 70 inmates have been waiting for 2 or three years to make it through the court process.
What Is Causing the Backlog of Inmates?
Prator says some inmates have been in jail more than 5 years waiting for their case to get to trial. Prator says it costs the taxpayers in Caddo Parish $70 dollars a day to house each of these inmates. That's a pricetag of nearly $100,000 a day to house many of these inmates that should already been adjudicated and in state custody or released because the judicial system has found them not guilty.
Sheriff Prator is telling the committee this week: "Caddo Parish has a serious problem and it will require us all working together to solve."
Prator adds "back in 2008, CCC was exceeding its capacity. I requested that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) come to Caddo Parish and help us find a solution. The DOJ team studied our situation and determined that overcrowding at CCC was the result of excessively long delays in inmates being brought to trial. The DOJ team recommended we form the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC), comprised of parties involved in the administration of justice in Caddo Parish, to work on reducing these trial delays. Together we began to reduce our inmate numbers by reducing trial delays and the population of CCC became manageable once again."
But the sheriff says we are having the same problem again and he's calling on all community leaders to step forward to find solutions.