CLEVELAND — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is taking action to help improve the state’s jail inspection system and expand the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Bureau of Adult Detention.
Back in March, Governor DeWine ordered ODRC to examine the jail inspection process.
The review revealed the agency is “substantially understaffed relative to its workload, which includes annual, on-site inspections of all local jails; the examination of citizen/inmate complaints; and the investigation of critical incidents, such as in-custody deaths, use-of-force incidents, and inmate violence.”
The Governor has also asked the bureau’s director to double their staff from six employees to 15, which will include a registered nurse to investigate medical complaints and examine jail standards.
“Those with the Ohio Bureau of Adult Detention have worked hard with limited resources to annually inspect local jails, but their examinations haven’t been as comprehensive as I believe they should be,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s time that this division has the tools to effectively carry out its statutory obligations.”
In 2018, ODRC rated 44 of 88 full-service jails as non-compliant, which included the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center.
FOX 8 has done extensive reporting on the county jail conditions over the last year along with the increase in inmate suicides.
In addition to hiring more staff for ODRC, the Governor also wants to see enhanced transparency, standardized grand jury reports, unannounced inspections and mandatory critical incident reporting.
ODRC has been ordered to do regular compliance checks at the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center at least every 30 days. As of June, the jail is now non-compliant in 66 of 135 standards. Legal action could be taken if the jail does not make significant improvements.