The Baton Rouge City Jail opens up today at noon for people with outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

People with outstanding misdemeanor warrants as well as those arrested for new offenses could be jailed for up to 36 hours, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said earlier this week.

The jail, on the basement floor of the old courthouse on St. Louis Street, can house 150 people, Gautreaux said.

Currently, 166,236 misdemeanor warrants are outstanding in East Baton Rouge Parish, Gautreaux said. Several people are responsible for 20 to 30 warrants each, he said.

“We hope that those with outstanding warrants will take this opportunity to handle their business,” the sheriff said. “If not, we’ll handle it for them.”

The offices of the constable and the sheriff will dedicate staff to the operation of the jail during a trial period, which will continue until overtime funds run out, Gautreaux said.

During that period, all misdemeanor offenders - with the exception of violent offenders, DWI offenders, those with special medical needs and those with criminal district bench warrants - will be booked into city jail, he said.

The inmates will be fingerprinted and held until they post bond or have been at the jail for 36 hours, the sheriff said. After 36 hours, offenders will be taken to Parish Prison.