Evacuated inmates returned to Terrebonne Parish jail

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Sheriff Tim Soignet wishes to advise the public that as of Monday, Aug. 31, all Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex inmates who were moved to other facilities due to threats from Hurricane Laura have been returned.


As tropical systems Marco and Laura advanced toward Terrebonne Parish, a decision was made to evacuate the inmates for purposes of health and safety.


“There was a good chance that electricity to the jail could have been knocked out,” Sheriff Soignet said. “With no generator at the jail capable of powering the air cooling and air exchange systems, there was a greater chance for pooling of water and over-exposure to heat in that structure. Moving inmates in the middle of a storm would not have been an option.”


The plan utilized was overseen by the Louisiana Department of Corrections, which arranged placement of inmates at several institutions based on classification priorities and availability of space.


Although Terrebonne Parish was spared the brunt of the storm, a facility where some inmates were housed in another parish suffered a power outage causing failures of systems including sewage and air conditioning, due to the arrival of tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Laura. No injuries in connection with this issue were reported.


“We were made aware of this problem and made arrangements to get our people back as soon as was possible,” Sheriff Soignet said. “We had to coordinate with DOC, a task made tougher due to the devastation western Louisiana and other areas suffered. I am grateful to DOC for their assistance during evacuation and to all of our correctional staff for their hard work during this difficult time.”