Jail Wire

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A private prison corporation running 10 detention centers in north Louisiana has reported that a detainee tested positive for the coronavirus.

Scott Sutterfield, an executive with LaSalle Corrections, said in an email Tuesday evening that one person detained in one of its Louisiana facilities tested positive for COVID-19.

Sutterfield did not specify which facility, but in a Facebook post on Monday, LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin said an ICE detainee at LaSalle Correctional Center tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

"He along with all the other detainees in his dorm have been shipped to another facility that has a dorm set up for quarantine," Franklin said in the post.

LCC, located in Olla, is a LaSalle Corrections facility. LaSalle operates other facilities in Texas, Georgia and Arizona, though the company is headquartered in Ruston. 

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No staff members have tested positive.

Sutterfield said all personnel are screened prior to entering facility. Staff self-report their case of COVID-19 — much like Department of Corrections staff do — and inmates are tested on a case-by-case basis. He added that staff are provided personal protective equipment. 

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, LaSalle has implemented a special contingency plan, which Sutterfield says includes screening, testing, appropriate treatment, prevention, education, and infection control measures.

"We continue focus on operational and communications planning, reinforcing hygiene practices, intensifying cleaning and disinfection of facilities and monitoring for potential cases," Sutterfield said.

LaSalle is also working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state and local agencies on the pandemic response.

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com