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Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Raymond Laborde Correctional Center, formerly Avoyelles Correctional Center, to enhance public safety through safe and secure incarceration of offenders, effective probation/parole supervision and proven rehabilitative individuals and communities victimized by crime.

Goals

Public Safety

Maximize public safety through appropriate and effective correctional custodial programs, supervisory services and community corrections partnerships.

Staff and Inmate Safety

Provide for the safety of correctional staff and offenders by maintaining an organized and disciplined system of operations that promotes stability in our institutional and field operations.

Provision of Basic Services

Provide appropriate services for victims of crimes committed by those offenders in our custody or under our supervision; and ensure that basic services relating to adequate food, clothing, health care, and shelter are provided to the offender population.

Opportunity for Change

Provide an environment which enables positive behavior change by making or identifying educational and rehabilitative opportunities available within the unit or the community for offenders and persons under supervision who demonstrate motivation for change and the desire to participate in such programs.

Opportunity for Making Amends

Provide opportunities for making restitution and participating in community restorative initiatives as a mechanism to compensate, in some fashion, individuals and communities harmed by crime.

Driving Directions

Raymond Laborde Correctional Center (RLCC) is located on Highway 107 in Cottonport, Louisiana, which is approximately thirty miles south of Alexandria, Louisiana (via Highway 1). The nearest public transportation service is Greyhound Bus Lines (318-445-4525), which is located in Alexandria. The bus service makes one stop daily from Alexandria, on Highway 71 in Bunkie, which is approximately twelve miles from Cottonport. For transportation to the facility, Avoyelles Taxi Service (318-253-4862) is also available.

From Alexandria: take Highway 1 South approximately thirty miles to Marksville. Continue down Highway 1 to Mansura exit. At light, turn right on Highway 107. Go into the town of Mansura and follow instructions in next paragraph from Mansura.

From Baton Rouge: take Highway 190 West. Turn RIGHT at New Roads/Marksville Exit. Go to New Roads, and turn left at the first light (by hospital & shopping center). Go to the end of the road, and turn left on Highway 1. Go approximately forty miles to Mansura. Turn left by Catfish House & Avoyelles Tire Center, onto Highway 107. Go into Mansura, cross tracks and turn right at Kelone’s Grocery. Go one block, and turn left to Cottonport, on Highway 107. Go five to six miles in Cottonport and go to the Cotton Corner Shell Station. Turn left, and go one mile and watch for a green sign on the right (Avoy. Correctional Center-State Prison). Turn left, on PRISON ROAD and go one mile to the Front gate of the prison facility.

From Lafayette: take Interstate I-49, and exit on Highway 106 to Bunkie (1st Bunkie Exit). Take a right at the end of road, then go to end of road and turn left on La. 29. Follow La. 29 into Bunkie, passing in front of school. Go to caution light/stop light and take a left. Go to light. At traffic light, cross tracks, following signs to Highway 29-Evergreen then Cottonport-approximately 10 miles. THEN FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FROM FUNERAL HOME BELOW.

You may go to Bunkie (via Highway 71). Turn East on Highway 29 to Evergreen, then on to Cottonport. Once in Cottonport, go pass Escude Funeral Home and Catholic Church. Go to third station on right; turn right (Cotton Corner Shell Station). This is Chouipque Lane – go one mile, and watch for a green sign on right (AVOY. CORRECTIONAL CENTER – STATE PRISON). Turn left at sign, (on Prison Rd) three-fourths to a mile to the front gate of the prison facility. When you turn left, you will notice apartments on your right called, Cottonwood Apartment (Dark brown building with brick).

Educational Programming

All RLCC offenders are eligible to benefit from educational services. RLCC provides direct educational services to approximately 30% of its offender population at a time. Those services are designed from literacy to post secondary education. Post secondary consists of job life skill classes and vocational programs. All of these services are provided at no cost to the offender. College level correspondence courses are available upon request at the offender’s expense and with the approval of the Warden.

Education is provided on a voluntary basis. Students must request enrollment into available classes for which they are eligible. Waiting lists are maintained for classes and programs where space is not available. Night GED classes are available to those that hold a full-time job during the day and are not available for the regular education programs.

RLCC offers Literacy, Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and Special School District (SSD) services to the offender population. Please visit the “Reentry Programming” section of the website to learn more about these programs.

Vocational Programs

The Central Louisiana Technical Community College (Avoyelles Campus) is presently offering seven distinct vocational programs at RLCC.  These courses offer full instruction and hands-on learning to provide participants with the knowledge to undertake a job in that particular field after the course is completed.  Offenders are administered a pre-screening test (TABE) before becoming eligible for enrollment.  After successfully completing a program, the offender will receive a certificate/diploma that is valid throughout the state.  All eligibility criteria are set by the Central Louisiana Technical Community College. 

Auto Collision Repair: This course teaches how to repair and paint automobile bodies and parts.

Automotive Technology:  This course teaches how to repair the mechanical parts to a vehicle and how to troubleshoot problems.

Barbering: This course teaches art of hair design as well as health and care of the scalp and face.

Building Technology:  This course teaches a variety of entry level construction trades.  Carpentry, masonry, and plumbing are all part of this program.

Culinary Arts: This course teaches how to follow recipes, prepare meals, bake, and convert measurements for adjusting recipes.

Masonry: This course teaches the science of bricklaying within the residential and commercial settings and teaches the participant to become a masonry helper by trade. The class also teaches the knowledge of the tools used and the safety practices applied when using these tools on the job.

Welding:  This course teaches the basics of welding related to the present day field of work.

 

Other Programs and Services

Mental Health Services

The Mental Health Department provides a range of services appropriate to the needs of the offender, including psychiatric care for offenders with mental illness and individual and group counseling.  All counseling services are adminsitered by a qualified mental health professional.  Specialized treatment programs include the following:  crisis intervention, sex offender treatment, anger management, and substance abuse treatment.  The Mental Health Department also completes aftercare referrals to appropriate agencies for offenders who discharge with mental health needs.

Medical Services

It is the mission of RLCC’s Medical Department to provide comprehensive health services for offenders. The department offers professional care and provides for a continuous systematic review of policy, procedure and practice to offer health services and education which will enhance the ability of the offender to successfully reintegrate into society upon release. Medical Services include:

– A Full Time Physician
– 24 Hour Nursing Coverage
– Infirmary for Convalescent & Chronic Care Offenders
– Full time Dental Coverage
– Quality Assurance Program
– Infection Control
– Diagnostic Services including X-ray and Lab
– Emergency Services as needed
– Referral Services for Specialty Consultation
– Telemedicine Services
– Pharmacy Services
– Contract Optometrist
– Contract Podiatrist
– Contract Psychiatrist
– Wellness Program

Other Offender Programs

Reentry: RLCC’s Reentry initiatives provide assessment, identification and linkage for offenders with services specific to their reentry needs. Offenders begin preparing for release from the point of entry into the institution and through the development of Reentry Accountability Plans (ReAP) guiding reentry planning and offender programming. Treatment staff, with assistance from outside agencies, conducts educational workshops with offenders preparing for reintegration into society. The offender receives 100 hours of instruction which include communication skills, victim awareness, value development, health and wellness, substance abuse, money management, job seeking skills, and information concerning conditions of parole prior to release.

Faith-based Programming: Faith based programming is an essential component in the overall mission of RLCC. Well trained religious volunteers offer a significant resource and are essential to the success in meeting the goal of providing a meaningful opportunity for change. Religious programming is coordinated by a full-time Chaplain. The RLCC Chaplaincy provides daily faith-based programming for the offender population. The services range from traditional worship to contemporary praise and worship services. Special programs such as Strengthening the Family, Malachi Dads, and Returning Hearts provide opportunities for the offender to remain close with their families. Several programs incorporate study groups of various religious beliefs. Services for all major Christian denominations, Islamic and Native American Indian beliefs are facilitated through the Chaplaincy.

The Chaplain’s Department also provides Certified Treatment and Rehabilitation Programs (CTRP) such as NOBTS Certificate Program, Inside/Outside Dad, School of Faith, Men’s Work, and Preparing for Success on the Outside.  If successfully completed, the programs can reduce incarceration time for offenders.  These classes, along with others, are facilitated by trained volunteers as well as certified offender facilitators as well.  Upon graduation, our faith-based programs provide a degree, diploma, or certificate of completion.  Others, like In Christ International Bible College, provide either an associate’s degree or diploma once completed.  Under the Brother’s Keeper Program, the needs of the offender population are ministered to by providing indigent supplies on a bi-montly basis and visiting the sick in the infirmary, the elderly on the tiers, and cellblocks multiple times during the week.  The sick and elderly are escorted to church when requested and bible study is provided on an individual basis.

Records: The Records Office is responsible for all aspects involving the maintenance of records management programs involving offender time computation and re-computation on DPS&C commitments in accordance with state and federal laws and departmental regulations. The Records Office also maintains a Pre-Classification District inclusive of five parishes: Allen, Evangeline, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, and St. Landry.

Classification: The Classification Department ensures that various aspects of offender incarceration related to public safety, rehabilitation, discipline, and welfare are met for offenders from the time of preliminary classification through the reception and diagnostic process and subsequent assignment to a permanent housing or until discharge. Classification works closely with Security as well as other departments such as Mental Health, Medical and Education. The Classification program promotes the development of life, job and educational skills within the offender population and encourages participation in various self-help groups and organizations. Classification staff is responsible for the initial screening of custody status, work release, trustees, status reductions, job placement, and geographical transfers.

Miscellaneous

Human Resources: The Human Resources Department manages all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotion, position control, payroll, and related benefits. Staff achievement and recognition is a vital component in meeting the institution’s mission and goals.
Training: The RLCC Training Department is responsible for coordination of all in-service and specialized training programs. Training curricula are formulated based on position requirements, professional development needs, current correctional issues and new theories, techniques and technologies.
Community Service: AVC offender work crews provide general maintenance services to the Town of Cottonport, along with providing assistance during emergency and natural disaster situations. Canine Units assist local law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of criminal suspects, drug detection, and other related public safety issues.

History
Located in the southwestern region of Avoyelles Parish, Raymond Laborde Correctional Center (RLCC) opened in 1989. RLCC rests on 1,187 acres of land just outside the city limits of Cottonport, Louisiana. RLCC received its first offenders on June 19, 1989. The original design capacity was 610, but renovations and new construction over the years have increased the operational capacity to 1,564. RLCC currently has a staff of 326 employees (321 classified, 5 unclassified) and an operating budget of $24.5 million. RLCC was first accredited by the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation in 1992. It has since been reaccredited in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.