Lack of bed space at jail poses problems for IPSO

Staff Report

A lack of bed space at the Iberville Parish Jail has left Sheriff Brett Stassi seeking a facility that can house two juveniles who were arrested for an attempted home robbery that ended in gunfire Saturday.

The two male suspects – one 17, the other 18 – were arrested about 7:30 p.m. after their attempted robbery of a mobile home on Patreau Lane, about three miles west of the Plaquemine city limits.

A lack of bed space at the Iberville Parish Jail has left Sheriff Brett Stassi seeking a facility that can house two juveniles who were arrested for an attempted home robbery that ended in gunfire Saturday.

The two juveniles are under house arrest and wearing ankle monitors, but Stassi said he has had difficulties finding a detention facility that will take the two suspects.

“We called every facility in the two-state area … it’s a bad situation," he said. “I’m proud of my Detectives Division for making a quick apprehension, but the problem is that we just don’t know where to put them.”

The victims – Byron Jones, 23, and Benjamin Lewis 24, both of White Castle – were treated in an area hospital. While the wounds were not considered life-threatening, one of the victim may lose an arm, Stassi said.

The mobile home incurred damage in the shooting, he said.

Meanwhile, Stassi said he is determined to find a facility for the two juveniles.

Overcrowding at corrections facilities has created a quandary for law enforcement agencies. Some will offer contracts, but it’s a solution costly to taxpayers, he said.

“Those facilities want you to have a contract with them, whether you need them or not, and we’ll probably discuss that with the parish in the future,” Stassi said. “But we’ve been fortunate enough that we were working with the courts, and we will fast track this thing to get it to the Department of Justice, and hopefully they’ll serve time and be off the streets for a while.”