SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A multi-agency task force has spent the last year evaluating local criminal justice data and is set to release 16 recommendations to address overcrowding at the Caddo Correctional Center (CCC).
The Criminal Justice Task Force consists of members of the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders Office, First Judicial District Court, Parish Administration, the Shreveport Police Department, and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.
In September 2022, Caddo Parish Sheriff’ Steve Prator sounded alarm bells about overcrowding in CCC and called a meeting with fellow agencies and stakeholders to create a plan to address the issue.
The facility which has the capacity to house 1,070 individuals has operated at levels that exceed its design for more than 18 years. At its highest as many as 1,435 people were housed there over the course of a year.
A release announcing findings of the of November 12, 2023, the jail held 1,376 people with close to 1,000 awaiting trial or who have not had their cases adjudicated.
Overcrowding of correctional institutions increases pressure and stretches the resources of not only law enforcement but also the DA’s office, public defenders, and court personnel. It also strains parish resources.
The task force looked at a decade’s worth of data from CCC and district court to identify factors that lead to overcrowding and developed short and long-term solutions to correct the problem.
- CCC’s admissions dropped 40% in 10 years (2012-2021);
- The 2022, 72% of jail admissions were for pretrial admissions. Most of the pretrial admissions were drug offenses;
- Those held for pretrial spent more time at the CCC in 2022 compared to 2012;
- Fewer people have posted bail, which decreased by 15%;
- Individuals who did not post bailed stayed eight times longer than those who did in 2022;
- Bail amounts have increased;
- Court processing times have increased for those held at the CCC.
The data showed that while the population of CCC grew from 2012 to 2022 it wasn’t because more arrests were made. It was because of the length of stay for individuals held there.
The task force explored reasons for extended housing in CCC and found factors including increases in the severity and complexity of cases and staffing challenges across public safety entities, among many others, to inform the recommendations included in their final report.
“Overpopulation at the Caddo Correctional Center is dangerous to both inmates and staff and unsustainable from a cost perspective for the Parish,” said Task Force member and Caddo Parish Administrator Erica Bryant, “I am encouraged that the leaders of our public safety community were able to come together to create a plan to begin addressing these systemic issues.”
The task force shared those reports with the community at a news conference, you can watch the video above.
The documents of the Caddo Parish Criminal Justice Task Force’s Key findings are below: