Vernon Parish breaks ground on new jail

By By Lauren Manary / American Press

Local officials gathered at an open field in Leesville on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new jail that will be

able to better manage the number of inmates the sheriff’s office can house.

The new $7.2 million Vernon Parish

Sheriff’s Office and Jail will be built at the corner of 3rd and Wingate

streets and will

have a maximum inmate capacity of 147. The new jail, which is

located down the street from the existing one, will be a vast

increase in size from the current facility, which houses 84. The existing facility is in the center of the city at 202 South 3rd St.

“Our current capacity in our jail is 84 and we are almost always full,” said Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft. “The new will

greatly increase our capacity for inmates.”

The new sheriff’s office and jail will

have state-of-the-art features in the detention area and will have

disabled accessibility.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.

The jail was approved by voters in 2010, when they approved $7.5 million in general obligation bonds.