Public’s chance to tour new minimum security jail starts at 10 a.m. Saturday

Acadiana residents who want to view the recently completed Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex can tour the facility Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sheriff’s Office officials will conduct the tours at the facility every hour on the hour, Capt. Kip Judice said. The last group leaves the reception area at 2 p.m.

Sheriff’s officials conducted a media tour of the complex Monday. On Wednesday, Sheriff Mike Neustrom was joined by hundreds of people for the official opening.

Judice said Neustrom wanted the public to be able to view the complex on Saturday because inmates start arriving in April.

The $24 million complex was built with $21 million from a bond issue and $3 million in sheriff’s reserves.

Minimum-security prisoners who have almost completed their sentences will be kept in buildings designed for prisoners. Inmates who pose bigger escape threats or are more dangerous will continue to be jailed at the downtown Correctional Center.

One of five buildings in the new complex was built to house small to large law enforcement classes. Another is a huge warehouse that will allow sheriff’s officials to buy supplies in lower-cost large quantities. Other buildings include areas for processing work-release inmates in and out each day and places for inmate recreation.

The complex, built on 29 acres, is located at 1825 W. Willow St.