Basile prison to close its doors; inmates to move to Pine Prairie
By: DARREL LEJEUNE
Representatives of The GEO group, owners of The South La. Corrections Center (also known as the Basile Detention Center), have announced the company’s intention to close the Basile prison within the next few months. The announcement was made to a group of elected officials at a parishwide community involvement meeting held in Ville Platte on Wednesday, November 18.
La. Corrections Services sold the Basile facility and several others to GEO in February of this year. Since that time, new Basile mayor Mark Denette has enjoyed great community support from GEO, resulting in substantial payments to the town of Basile, similar to the agreement that the town enjoyed when the prison first opened in Basile in 1993.
Obviously, Mayor Denette is disappointed in the company’s decision to close the facility since this will mean a loss of tax money and other spending by the prison and its employees here in the town limits in addition to a loss of monthly payments that the town was receiving per inmate.
At the community meeting in Ville Platte, it was noted that the Basile prison has over 1,000 beds and that only about 600 are currently being used.
The company’s Pine Prairie facility, which had previously been closed and refurbished, will be reopened and inmates from Basile will be transferred there.
Pablo E. Paez, vice-president of Corporate Relations with The Geo Group, Inc., made this official statement on behalf of the company.
“Since acquiring LCS Corrections in February of this year, GEO has conducted a thorough evaluation of the facilities previously managed by LCS to determine the mission and customer best suited for each facility. As a result of this review, GEO has determined that the Pine Prairie facility is better suited to accomplish the mission currently being delivered at the South Louisiana Correctional Center; however GEO expects the current employees to transition to the Pine Prairie facility. GEO will actively work to remission and market the South Louisiana Correctional Center in the future. For security reasons, GEO is unable to provide a specific timetable or additional details related to this operational transition.”