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Jack Strain transferred to Plaquemines jail, will likely be kept away from other inmates

"He has a double whammy being a former law enforcement officer and child molester. Those people don’t fare well in prison."

COVINGTON, La. — Jack Strain is now in the Plaquemines Parish Jail after being found guilty Monday in the sex crimes trial. The former St. Tammany Parish sheriff faces life in prison.

After hugging his family goodbye, Strain was immediately taken into custody following the guilty verdict on all eight of the sex crimes counts against him. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail, the same jail he oversaw as sheriff for 20 years, but was quickly transferred to Plaquemines Parish where it's expected he'll be kept separate from other inmates. 

Strain is currently being held in an isolation area of the medical section of the Plaquemines Parish Detention Center for the mandated quarantine period for new inmates. The PPDC is a New Orleans area jail that commonly houses the state's Department of Corrections and pre-trial federal inmates.

Strain will continue to be held at PPDC until his sentencing hearings on the state convictions. He is expected to be relocated to a permanent prison after sentencing.

"He has a double whammy being a former law enforcement officer and child molester. Those people don’t fare well in prison," Loyola Law Professor, Dane Ciolino said. "The Department of Corrections will have to make some special efforts to ensure his safety while incarcerated."

Strain is scheduled to be back in the courtroom in December for a separate federal trial related to an alleged kickback scheme involving a privatized work release program.

"If he's convicted or ultimately pleads guilty, it won't make a bit of difference in Jack Strain's life. He will likely serve out his state sentence in the state prison system and never be transferred to the federal prison system," Ciolino said. 

The reason for that, Ciolino explains, is that the Federal Bureau of Prisons would likely have him serve both sentences in a state prison. 

"His first conviction was yesterday in state court and as a result its likely the state court will be viewed as the sovereign with primary jurisdiction," Ciolino said. 

He expects Strain to file an appeal for the state conviction. 

"He has a couple issues to work with since he was a juvenile himself when some of these crimes were committed. He may be successful at pruning away one or two counts of conviction, but that will still leave him with a life sentence and if he has even one life sentence, he's going to die in jail," Ciolino said. 

Strain faces life in prison and will likely serve his sentence in a state prison like Angola.

"Until then, he’ll be locked up most day everyday in a small prison cell in a parish prison," Ciolino said. 

Strain will be sentenced Jan. 18. 

Current St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith won the race for sheriff against Jack Strain in 2015. He released the following statement on the verdict:

"I am very pleased to see our court system work as it is designed to and justice to be achieved for the victims. The verdict delivered last night proved that no one is above the law," Sheriff Randy Smith said. "I have worked hard, along with my administration, over the past five years to rebuild the public's trust. From day one as Sheriff, I have worked with Federal and State partners, who were already investigating criminal acts of the prior Sheriff. That is why I committed myself and my administration to change so many things with your St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office – from uniforms and vehicles to the ethical and moral values represented throughout the agency. I am glad to see justice served for the victims and their families, but I would be remised if I did not express sympathy for the community, and the men and women who have served this great agency for many years. All of you are victims too of the former Sheriff's wrongful and criminal acts. As Sheriff, I will continue to commit myself and my administration to work together so that we, as a community, can move past this."