POSTED: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 2:04pm
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard and Paul Perkins of Louisiana Workforce, LLC have entered into an agreement to bring a Work Release program to Livingston Parish.
Sheriff Ard says his reason for starting a program is inmate rehabilitation. Sheriff Ard says several inmates over the years have said to him they don’t know what they’re going to do once they’re released from the Detention Center. Most had no jobs and in some cases – no housing. In his experience, within weeks, those same inmates were back at the Detention center. Sheriff Ard says, ‘This program will hopefully help them transition out of the system and into society.’
The plan calls for taking the majority of the Department of Corrections Inmates currently housed at the Livingston Parish Detention Center and put them to work. To get the program off the ground, these inmates will continue being housed at the Livingston Parish Detention Center. Sheriff Ard is currently exploring plans to build a Work Release facility next door to the Livingston Parish Training Center on Woodside Drive in Walker.
To be eligible for the Work Release program, inmates would have to be serving time for non-violent crimes and have less than 3-years left on their sentences. The Department of Corrections is currently screening inmates for participation in the program.
The Work Release program will match inmates with open positions in Livingston Parish. Sheriff Ard says, ‘Parish business leaders are supportive of this program. They are looking forward to the skilled and reliable workforce we’ll now be able to offer.’ Sheriff Ard does want to point out that Work Release inmates have been active in Livingston Parish for years – coming from other parishes. With this program, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office will be more involved.
Sheriff Ard is confident this program will help teach inmates about work ethic and responsibility. Ard says, ‘once inmates get released from the Detention Center, they’ll have a plan to be successful.’
Sheriff Ard hopes this program will be active – with inmates working at local businesses - within three to four weeks.