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Lafourche Sheriff's Office receives $749,022 grant
The Courier - 10/2/2020
Oct. 2--The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office is getting a $749,022 grant from the federal government to help prevent and control crime, officials announced this week.
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, said Lafourche is one of only four parishes to receive the grant money. East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston parishes received a combined $222,190 from the U.S. Department of Justice.
"I spoke with Sheriff Craig Webre this morning and know this grant will be a major boost to keeping Lafourche communities safe from crime," Graves said. "In the long run, this grant bolsters more safety, protection for our businesses, and elevates for families a sense of security in their own homes from violent crimes and theft. This was an extremely competitive program and the sheriff's office did a great job thinking through all the various components that went into it. We will keep working with DOJ to find streams of funding so the peacekeepers of our communities have the resources they need to continue to protect and serve."
The extra money will contribute to the ongoing efforts to reduce recidivism by focusing on rehabilitation, Webre said.
"It was a very interesting and competitive grant," the sheriff said. "There were only four grants awarded. The focus of the grant is to use community supervision for offenders under the principles of swift and fair supervision. My staff and I really felt our agency was ideal for putting the goals of the grant into place. We have a very functional criminal justice system, where everyone works well together and understands our role and we communicate extremely well with all facets of the criminal justice system. Our new facility of course gives us so many opportunities that never existed before. We have the technology, staffing and space."
Construction of the 118,095-square-foot Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex at La. 3185 and Veterans Boulevard began in 2016 after parish residents in 2014 approved a 0.2 percent sales tax for the project.
Instead of just locking up inmates in cells, the new jail emphasizes rehabilitation, education and mental health, Webre said. The jail also educates inmates about parenting, job interviews and earning high school or higher education credits.
"We've been using alternatives like electronic monitoring and we established a misdemeanor probation program many years ago," he said. "So this grant fits like a glove. It's just an extension of the direction we've been taking corrections for several years now. Having this additional funding from the Department of Justice will allow us to hire more staff as well as contract with third-party providers."
The additional money will also pay for programs that give courts more choices, Webre said.
"It gives the courts and district attorney more options and allows offenders who can be properly supervised in the community to remain connected to their family and remain gainfully employed and seek whatever intervention strategies, treatment or job-skills training they might need," the sheriff said. "The goal is to assist people, keep them accountable to the criminal justice system and implement the appropriate sanctions."
-- Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
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