Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Police Jury green lights prison study
- 2013 - 961 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- December 2011 - 152 articles
- December 30th, 2011 (Friday) - 1 articles
- December 29th, 2011 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- December 22nd, 2011 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- December 15th, 2011 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- December 13th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- December 12th, 2011 (Monday) - 1 articles
- December 10th, 2011 (Saturday) - 2 articles
- December 8th, 2011 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- December 7th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- December 6th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- December 5th, 2011 (Monday) - 2 articles
- December 4th, 2011 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- December 3rd, 2011 (Saturday) - 3 articles
- December 2nd, 2011 (Friday) - 1 articles
- Police Jury green lights prison study
- December 1st, 2011 (Thursday) - 32 articles
- November 2011 - 151 articles
- October 2011 - 169 articles
- September 2011 - 200 articles
- August 2011 - 156 articles
- July 2011 - 160 articles
- June 2011 - 194 articles
- May 2011 - 166 articles
- April 2011 - 164 articles
- March 2011 - 204 articles
- February 2011 - 151 articles
- January 2011 - 162 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Police Jury green lights prison study|
Ouachita Parish officials should know sometime early next year what the staffing needs are at Ouachita Correctional Center.
At a meeting of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury last week, police jurors unanimously agreed to spend $20,000 on a staffing analysis to delve into the employee situation at OCC. The study is designed to outline ideal staffing requirements for the facility.
The staffing analysis comes on the heels of a separate efficiency study performed by the National Institute of Corrections. The study's preliminary findings were delivered to prison officials Tuesday, Nov. 29, according to Col. Mark Mashaw of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.
Mashaw said the efficiency study had no major findings, but it touched on several areas for improvement that officials should consider in operating OCC.
"They found no inefficiencies," Mashaw said. "That was my main goal, to find out if we were wasting any money."
At the Police Jury meeting last week, Police Juror Walt Caldwell proposed paying for the staffing study in order to give the Police Jury and the public an idea about the real costs of operating the prison, the number of deputies that should be assigned there and what the costs of operating OCC might entail in the future.
"We're just trying to get an ideal number of staff and positions," Caldwell said. "That's it in a nutshell."
Staffing the prison 24-7 is one of the largest expenditures at OCC. Without the study, Caldwell said it is difficult to determine how good of a shape the finances are at OCC.
The Sheriff's Office runs OCC, but it is up to the Police Jury to fund operations there.
Funding at OCC has been an ongoing issue for the Sheriff's Office and the Police Jury. OCC has engaged deficit spending over the past couple of years.
A series of cost-cutting measures have been put into place, including significant reduction of force at the prison, according to Mashaw.
With OCC's budget balanced and showing a surplus for the 2011 year, Mashaw said it was important to look at how many guards and other staff are needed to run the prison.
"We kept cutting it and we were worried because, at some point, it's just not safe," Mashaw said.
He was referring to the reduction in the number of deputies assigned to OCC and how the decline in deputies working there might pose security risks.
Mashaw said OCC had not reached an unsafe point yet in its operations.
"They're handling it, but I'm obviously not comfortable," Mashaw said.
Both Mashaw and Caldwell said the staffing analysis will provide prison officials with clearer guidelines and goals for OCC, with the ultimate goal of running the most efficient prison operation possible.
Mashaw said he looked forward to hearing what the staffing study says, especially after receiving the efficiency study.
"They found that the staff was extremely well trained," Mashaw said. "They loved the culture, which they said is a big part of keeping problems down in a jail."
According to Mashaw, the National Institute of Corrections efficiency study found that OCC was a well-run facility, but there is room for improvement.
Among the findings, OCC lacks sufficient one- and two-man cells for inmates. Those types of cells are important when an inmate needs additional security or has special needs, according to Mashaw.
Also, while the National Institute efficiency study did not look in depth at the staffing needs, Mashaw said the report noted the relatively low number of employees assigned to the prison.
"They said the employees do a lot with very little," Mashaw said.
The employment analysis is currently underway. Mashaw said he expects the whole study could take a couple of months to complete and hoped to have the results sometime in early 2012.
That will provide the Police Jury and the Sheriff's Office time to review those needs, before voters may be asked to approve a renewal of a pair of property taxes that fund the prison.
The Police Jury currently levies an 8.6-mill tax to fund operations at OCC and a separate, 0.6-mill tax to pay for capital improvements at the parish prison.
Both of those property taxes will expire Dec. 31 of this year.
Earlier this year, voters rejected an 11.3-mill proposal to fund the prison. The 11.3-mill tax would have replaced the two taxes the Police Jury currently levies.