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September 01, 2014

Avoyelles Correctional Center

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1630 Prison Road
Cottonport, LA 71327
P: (318) 876-2891
 

Warden: Nathan B. Cain II

 

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the 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 and Priorities

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

Avoyelles Correctional Center 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).

Visiting Information

All persons interested in visiting offenders at Avoyelles Correctional Center should carefully read the listed guidelines below that govern the visiting process. All visitors are bound by these regulations. Visiting questions should be directed to the Visiting Department, Avoyelles Correctional Center, 1630 Prison Road, Cottonport, LA 71327. Contact Phone number is 318-876-2891. Departmental and/or institutional guidelines will be used for approval or denial of visitors. Persons receiving and/or filling out this questionnaire should bear in mind the following:

  1. If the prospective visitor is under eighteen years of age, signature approval to visit from a parent or guardian, must be furnished in the appropriate section of the questionnaire. (Minors eighteen years or younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Failure to do so will result in denial from the offender’s visiting list.
  2. Falsification of any information will result in denial from the offender’s list.
  3. All persons over the age of 18 must be on the offender’s list. 
  4. Do not attempt to visit any offender until you have been approved for visiting.  Please contact the offender you wish to visit to verify that you have been approved.  Do not call the facility as this information will not be provided over the phone.
  5. It is the policy of Avoyelles Correctional Center that any visitor is subject to a personal search while on institutional grounds.

The following is a list of other rules, regulations and general concerns which affect visitors while at Avoyelles Correctional Center:

  1. Regular visiting days are Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Visiting hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on all regular visiting days. Arrivals must be scheduled prior to 2:30 p.m.  Visitors will not be allowed in after 2:30 p.m.
  3. Each approved visitor is allowed two visits per month.
  4. Offenders serving cell/room confinement on weekends will not be allowed to visit except on the fourth full weekend (Saturday or Sunday) of the month.
  5. Visits may last three hours. However, the Warden retains the right to determine the amount of time that a visitor may visit the offender.
  6. The Warden may decide on the number of visitors that may visit an offender at one time. At Avoyelles Correctional Center, offenders may visit with only four visitors at any one time. This includes both children and adults.
  7. If you are approved to visit at Avoyelles Correctional Center, you will be required to furnish positive identification each time you visit. All visitors (except minors under eighteen) must have a card with his/her picture identification on it in order to visit an offender. If you do not bring a picture identification card with you on each visit, you will not be allowed to visit the offender.
  8. When visiting an offender, visitors are not allowed to give anything to the offender. Introduction of contraband into the institution will result in removal from the visiting room and possible prosecution by the courts. (Any controlled dangerous substance, unless prescribed in original container, illegal drugs, any weapons, ammunition or explosive devices, alcoholic beverages, cameras, handcuff keys, tape recorders, mace, cell phone or any item detrimental to the security of the institution).
  9. Tobacco products are not allowed in the visiting room or the picnic area. Visitors may bring purses or wallets into the visiting room, but they cannot exceed the size of a standard men’s wallet. Visitors are allowed to bring a maximum of $100.00 (cash only) into the visiting room. A reasonable amount of female hygiene products and items necessary for the care of babies (bottles, diapers, small blankets, etc.) are allowed. All such items should be kept to a minimum, and will be searched to the extent possible to minimize the potential for the introduction of contraband.
  10. Visitors may deposit up to $499.99  in an offender’s account while visiting.  This is accomplished through the kiosk location in the visitation processing building.
  11. Intoxication, improper dress, misconduct, and loud or boisterous activity while visiting will cause the visit to be terminated and the visitor’s name to possibly be removed from the offender’s approved visiting list.
  12. Visitors should be aware that visiting areas are designed to cultivate a family atmosphere for family and friends of all ages. Visitors should dress and act accordingly. The following apparel is considered inappropriate and shall result in the denial of visits:
    • Clothing that is similar in appearance to the clothing worn by the unit’s offender population (i.e. blue chambray shirts and gray or white sweatshirts are not allowed. Male visitors are not allowed to wear white t-shirts in combination with blue jeans.)
    • Clothing that is similar in appearance to the clothing worn by correctional officers (i.e. camouflage, blue BDU’s, etc.)
    • Transparent clothing
    • Swimming suits
    • Skirts, shorts, skorts, cullotes, and dresses shorter than one inch above the knee cap or those with revealing slits
    • Strapless, tube and halter tops, take tops and strapless dresses. Female visitors must wear a bra.
    • Tops that expose the midriff
    • Blouses, shirts and dresses that are low cut
    • Spandex, Lycra or Spandex-like athletic pants, aerobic/exercise tights or leotards
    • Underwear cannot be exposed
    • Clothing with revealing holes or tears one inch above the knee cap
    • Clothing or accessories with obscene or profane writing, images or pictures
    • Gang or club-related clothing or insignia indicative of gang affiliation
    • All visitors must wear shoes; house slippers and shower shoes are not allowed. Footwear must remain on feet at all times. These restrictions apply equally to men, women and children. Thong-type sandals or flip-flops are permissable.
    • See-through clothing, or any form of seductive garment, which may include mini-skirts, split skirts, midriffs, halter-tops, tank tops, or any extremely tight or revealing clothing, is not allowed.
  13. Special Visits may be approved by the Warden on a case-by-case basis. The offender must submit his Special Visit request in writing to the Classification Department.
  14. The fifth full weekend of the month is reserved for offenders on Honor/Trusty status only, with Trusty offenders having the option of a picnic visit. All others will be denied visitiation.
  15. Those offenders assigned to extended lockdown and maximum custody offenders on non-contact visiting status are limited to visitation on Thursdays only.

An approved list of items, which may be received by offenders through the mail, has been published below by the Warden’s Office.

  1. Books, magazines, newspapers, etc. must be received by offenders directly from publishers and approved vendors.
  2. Stamps are to be purchased in the Canteen only. Stamps will not be received through the mail.
  3. Money intended for deposit in an offender’s account should be sent in the form of a postal money order or bank cashier check within the United States made payable to the offender. All such deposits must be mailed to: Cashier, Avoyelles Correctional Center, 1630 Prison Road, Cottonport, LA 71327. The offender’s full name and DOC number must be written on the money order or cashier’s check. Funds intended for deposit should not be placed in an envelope addressed to the offender. Cash and personal checks will not be accepted.

All offenders housed in Administrative Segregation, Extended Lockdown as well as working cellblock offenders on non-contact visits will be allowed to visit on Thursdays only, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:30 PM. Visits will be limited to one (1) hour, and will take place in the designated non-contact visiting rooms in the Visiting Building. General population offenders on non-contact visits will visit on Saturdays and Sundays. Visits will be limited to two (2) hours and will take place in the designated non-contact visiting rooms in the Visiting Building.

All visitors with disabilities will have readily accessible facilities and will be reasonably accommodated as appropriate and to the extent possible within the context of the department’s fundamental mission to preserve the safety of the public, staff and offenders. Advance notice of the accommodation requested will be necessary to ensure its availability at the time of the visit.

***THESE RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE KEEP IN CONTACT WITH THE OFFENDER FOR FUTURE CHANGES.***

Educational Programs

All AVC offenders are eligible to benefit from educational services. AVC 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.

AVC 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 AVC.  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/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 AVC’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: AVC’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 AVC. 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 AVC 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 AVC Training Department is responsible for coordination of all in-service and specialized training programs. Training curriculums 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, Avoyelles Correctional Center opened in 1989. AVC rests on 1,187 acres of land just outside the city limits of Cottonport, Louisiana. Avoyelles 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. Avoyelles currently has a staff of 326 employees (321 classified, 5 unclassified) and an operating budget of $24.5 million. Avoyelles 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.

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