Council votes against opening temporary misdemeanor jail
BATON ROUGE - Members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council have rejected a request to open a temporary misdemeanor jail downtown.
On Wednesday, council members cited concerns about the justice system targeting poor, black, nonviolent offenders.
Law enforcements leaders have advocated for a misdemeanor jail because they say they need a way to compel people to show up to court and pay fines. There are more than 104,000 outstanding misdemeanor warrants from City Court and another 60,000 from the 19th Judicial District Court.
Opponents of the jail have questioned the need of a prison intended to jail misdemeanor offenders given Louisiana's incarceration levels.
The council voted 5-4 against the jail. Three members were absent during the vote.