Ouachita Correctional Center
The Ouachita Correctional Center (OCC) has been in operation since 1963, when it housed 180 inmates. Since then, the facility has grown to a maximum bed capacity of 1152. OCC now houses inmates for the Department of Corrections, those sentenced in parish court, and pretrial inmates awaiting trial. OCC is staffed by 150 deputies of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.
OCC’s Administrative Staff is responsible for the efficient management of its’ 13 million dollar budget. The funding for this budget comes from parish taxes, as well as money from housing DOC offenders. The Administration Division is commanded by the Warden and Deputy Warden, who oversee the entire staff. Additionally, an Administrative Lieutenant oversees OCC’s kitchen, inmate accounts, trustee labor, sentence processing, and a variety of clerical duties. One of the Administration Division’s main priorities is efficiency. How are we staying efficient?
-OCC’s kitchen serves meals approved by registered dietician at 55-65 cents / meal
-Feed inmates several vegetables grown on OCC’s self-managed farm
-Employ numerous trustees, saving the tax payers approximately
Trustees working at OCC $1,547,396
Trustees working at other public agencies $547,781
Total Savings (assuming minimum wage) $2,095,177*
*Assuming a minimum wage
The backbone of OCC. The Security Division consists of 17 Booking personnel who are responsible for processing people entering and exiting OCC, which is typically between 40-70 individuals per day.
The Security Division also consists of 76 Security personnel responsible for the day-to-day operations of the jail. The Security Division handles offender movement, housing, feeding, discipline, personnel training.
As a true “correctional” facility, OCC offers a variety of self-improvement classes aimed at facilitating a change in behavior that will decrease recidivism. These classes include Hi-Set (GED) classes, Alcoholics/ Narcotics Anonymous, Freedmen, Anger Management, Celebrate Recovery, and Hi-Set. OCC’s rehabilitation efforts are supported by a robust army of volunteers from local churches.
OCC’s medical needs are met by a 24-hour Medical Division staffed by Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Emergency Medical Technicians. Additionally, OCC is regularly visited by a Psychologist and a Doctor.
The Cell Extraction Response Team (C.E.R.T.)is a highly trained tactical unit that is responsible for a variety of duties, from transporting high-risk inmates to responding to a riot.
To lessen the burden on taxpayers, Sheriff Russell has explored a variety of options that allow OCC to generate its’ own revenue. The most successful of these is the Women’s Temporary Work Program (WTWP), which allows approved female inmates to work off-compound at local businesses, while still being housed at OCC. The program allows the inmates to earn money while incarcerated, pay for their own incarceration, and decrease the likelihood that they will return to jail.
In support of the local government, OCC provides trustees, who have been carefully considered, to a host of public agencies, including:
-Ouachita Parish Police Jury -Ouachita Parish Fire Department -……..
-Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter -University of Louisiana at Monroe
-Cheniere Lake Park -Monroe Police Department
Although operated by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, OCC is actually funded by Ouachita Parish Police Jury.
Contrary to popular belief, many agencies besides the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office rely on OCC to detain their arrests. Agencies that book into OCC:
In the near future, OCC will offer video-based visitation, allowing for inmates to visit with family and friends from all over the world, every day of the week. Stay tuned for details ……