Lindel Toups, the chair of the Parish Council’s “New Jail Committee,” had contended that the library had more than enough funds and that its budget is “an area that we don’t think is absolutely necessary.” He singled out Biblioteca Hispana, a Hispanic-language segment of the Golden Meadow library branch, as one reason that the libraries’ funding should be redirected to the proposed jail. As Toups said,Shorter: The Incarceration Industry is more important than Learning Centers. It's all about the Benjamins.
“They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English. Let that son of a b—- go back to Mexico. There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with. … Them junkies and hippies and food stamps (recipients) and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps (on the Internet). I see them do it.”
As Sanders noted about Toups, there are some additional reasons that he might be seeking to garner additional funds for the new detention center. Toups has some ”family members that are incarcerated,” according to Sanders, a reference to both Toups’ son and grandson having been charged in 2009 with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The ACLU Foundation of Louisiana has raised concerns about the proposed costs for the jail and requested that the Parish Council commission an expert to review those made by a consultant, Michael LeBlanc. So far, the estimated cost and capacity needs of the proposed $25 million, 540-bed jail are entirely based on the recommendations of LeBlanc, who was hired by the Parish Council as the project’s consultant.
LeBlanc is also an “aspiring architect for the job” which comes with a “lucrative design contract,” according to the Tri-Parish Times. The Louisiana Board of Ethics has said that the architectural and consulting contracts for the proposed jail “are not mutually exclusive” even if the some person (i.e., LeBlanc) were to hold both contracts.
In this particular case, it seems as if favors for connected cranksters plays a role as well.