Sheriff Prator Forcefully Defends Comments on Prison Labor
The social media firestorm continues to grow around comments made by Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator about the use of inmate labor at the local jail. The story is being picked up by media outlets across the nation.
The Sheriff's office sent out this statement Thursday afternoon:
This morning a Twitter post appeared using a 38-second comment from a 20-minute news conference held by Sheriff Prator on Louisiana’s Justice Reinvestment Act and how he believes the new law will impact the citizens of our Parish. The person who made the post also added inflammatory comments that were never spoken by the Sheriff.
NEVER did the Sheriff refer to the race of ANY inmate during the news conference. It is a fact that state inmates serving a hard-labor sentence can be required to work as part of their court-ordered sentence in Louisiana. Those jobs may include picking up trash on parish roadways, preparing meals for inmates at the jail, or working for non-profits and public agencies in our community. The term “good” inmates was in reference to state prisoners who are eligible to work but have lesser felony charges compared to others facing release who have criminal histories including murder, domestic violence, and battery. The length of their sentence and whether they can be required to work is determined by law and not the Sheriff.
From Sheriff Prator: “My many years of public service prove beyond any doubt that I view all persons equally. To say or imply any differently is untruthful. Someone who posts lies to suit their own personal agenda has that right. Likewise, rational persons have a responsibility to form their opinion based on fact and not the rantings and lies of an uninformed blogger.”
Here is the Sheriff's entire News Conference about the early release of inmates: