Contraband found at parish jail

Published 2:05 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

On Thursday, the Washington Parish Jail staff conducted a thorough search of all inmate housing units to discover and remove contraband from the jail.

Officers and canine teams from Rayburn Correctional Center assisted in the search. WPSO Warden Jim Miller organized the search and directed the efforts of the officers during the morning-long maneuver.

Several items of contraband were discovered and removed from the inmate living areas, including small shanks, which are homemade knives, hoarded medication and a cell phone. No illegal drugs were found. The entire search effort was conducted without incident.

“I’ve been involved in corrections and have worked with jails throughout the country. Every jail and prison has contraband of some form or the other,” Chief Deputy Mike Haley said. “The fact that so little was discovered today is a credit to the fine job Warden Miller and his staff are doing in operating the jail. They stay on top of things and run a legal and no-nonsense operation.”

Haley said that Parish Sheriff Randy Seal conducted a similar search on his first day in office in 2012. At that time, three cell phones, weapons and illegal drugs were discovered and seized, Haley said.

“That was a clear wake up call to the inmates that Sheriff Seal was taking back the jail and would operate it in a professional manner,” Haley said.

Seal also addressed the results of Thursday’s search.

“Our jail staff does an amazing job and I can’t brag on them enough,” Seal said. “We operate our jail on sound legal principles and do all the law requires for the inmate population, yet I am always amazed at some of the things inmates do.

“These folks don’t follow the law on the street and they don’t follow rules in the jail. They have a mindset that continues to place them at odds with the law-abiding citizens of our parish. As long as they continue to act the way they do, we will continue to arrest them and put them in jail. That’s not a threat. It is a promise.”

Seal said he appreciated the assistance from Rayburn Correctional Center and its warden, Sandy McCain.

“It doesn’t matter what the issue might be, the excellent officers from RCC are always ready to do whatever we ask them to do,” Seal said. “I can’t thank them enough. They are such an asset to our parish.”