St. Charles Herald-Guide

Charges, pictures of every inmate go online

By Michelle Stuckey - January 13, 2012

Visitors on the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office website will now be able to see the faces that go with the names of every inmate incarcerated at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center. New features on the website’s jail roster will also allow viewers to see the inmates’ charges.

The roster went online in a move that Sheriff Greg Champagne said would bring more accountability by judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers by allowing residents to track what happens to those who have committed crimes.

"Judges can legally reduce the bonds or bail of inmates without a hearing," Champagne said last year. "Perhaps this will make them be a little extra careful when they choose to do so. The public and victims need, and are entitled to know what happens to these perpetrators in the criminal justice system."

Capt. Pat Yoes, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said that the system will be in real-time, based on when the information is approved to go online by the state. He said this could take as little as five minutes.

The roster also includes a feature that allows residents to sign up for automatic notifications when a specific inmate is released.

"If you are a victim of a particular inmate or have a particular interest in an inmate and wish to be notified in the event of his or her release, you can register to receive an anonymous email or recorded telephone call advising you of this information," Champagne said. "It is especially important to those who have been the victim of a violent crime where the victim’s fear of revenge and retaliation is high."

Another new feature will allow individuals to check the website to see if they have an outstanding warrant.

"You can’t just simply put any person’s name in…but with personal information you can access our database to see if you have an old parking ticket or something that has turned into a warrant," Yoes said. "You would need specific, identifying information that the individual would know."

The jail roster can be found by visiting www.stcharlessheriff.org and clicking the roster link on the left side of the page. Last year, the Sheriff’s Office also added online features that include crime mapping and the ability to pay tickets and taxes online.