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Louisiana Trustee Impregnates 11-Year Old; Trustee Program Cancelled

Louisiana's Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office has ended its jail trustee work program in the wake of a detainee impregnating his 11-year old step-daughter while on trustee status.

Rodney Morrison, 37, was arrested on August 14, 2006, for raping his 11-year old step daughter. At the time of his arrest, the girl was six months pregnant. The problem is that Morrison was in custody on a probation violation at the time of conception. That was quite a head scratcher until Morrison admitted to investigators that he had sex with the girl while on trustee status.

That revelation put a screeching halt to the Parish's trustee program. "We've been thinking about this for some time," said Chief Deputy Mike Tubbs. "The case that came up earlier this month involving a trusty who committed a crime ... helped us decide this would be the best time to do it."

Tubbs noted that many agencies rely on trustee labor to provide maintenance services. "We hate to do this," he said. "But those officers are so busy that they can't constantly supervise these inmates."

"Where we direct supervision for them, we'll allow those agencies to continue using the labor," said Tubbs "As big an issue as security of the public is, our greatest concern is whether or not it's the sheriff's responsibility to provide maintenance personnel for these agencies."

Tubbs said the Morehouse Parish Police Jury may continue to use prisoner labor for projects such as courthouse lawn maintenance. However, the jury's maintenance supervisor must be present at all times that detainee labor is being utilized, according to Tubbs.


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