PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A controversial jail in Plaquemines Parish sits far less than a quarter full. The jail cost $100M to build, and while FEMA funding paid for most of it, taxpayers are still responsible for keeping it up and running.
Currently, 100 inmates are being housed in the facility built to hold 871.
In an interview with FOX 8 Morning Edition, Sheriff Lonnie Greco says the parish is working with 12 states to bring their inmates to Plaquemines Parish.
The states would pay a per diem rate to house the inmates.
Greco gave an example of how Arkansas recently sent 288 prisoners to Texas at a daily rate of $36/inmate. The sheriff says it could be a source of revenue that could solve a big funding gap. He says it will take time to identify which inmates the parish is willing to house. "One of the guys that we hired already, identified close to 220,000 inmates. So what we need to do is go make sure this is a non violent--felony type inmate. Because I do not want violent offenders down here," Sheriff Greco said.
The sheriff said the process will take time, and urged patience. He said filling the jail is a priority.