The Vernon Parish Correctional Facility (VFC) will be closed down by the end of this month.

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sheriff Sam Craft released a statement expressing regret that the facility will cease operations on March 31.

“We have thoroughly investigated every possible avenue to avoid closing the facility,” he stated. “With the number of inmates that we currently house, (201 as of today) it is no longer financially feasible to remain open.

“Current studies show that a facility similar to VCF needs to house a minimum of 350 inmates per day to be self supporting.

“Numerous studies show that Louisiana Sheriff’s are underpaid approximately $10 per day per inmate.

“This fact along with the fact that the current state budget shows a $5 per day cut to house state inmates, are major factors in a decision that has been months in the making.

“In the coming weeks The Louisiana Department of Corrections will review inmate rosters and make a determination as to where each VCF  inmate will be transferred.”

Leesville Mayor Rick Allen says this will greatly affect the area in several ways.

“For one, the City uses a lot of inmate labor from the work release program to cut grass and all kinds of things,” he said. “A lot of companies and businesses in Vernon Parish use inmate labor from the work release program.

“We don’t know exactly how this is going to play out.”

DeRidder will also be impacted by the closure as they too use inmate labor around the city.

Craft’s letter says several current VCF employees will be able to retire. “I am diligently working to reassign as many VCF employees as possible,” he stated.