CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) The FOX 8 I-TEAM has reviewed months of city records showing dozens of inmates kept in the Cuyahoga County Jail even after they should have been released.
The records show most inmates were kept an extra day or two. But, others held for seven, nine, thirteen, even twenty-seven days after they should have gotten out.
We found the City of Cleveland sends a report to the Cuyahoga County Jail every month showing inmates held past their release date.
We reviewed reports for the last six months, and they show eight to twenty inmates per month held too long.
The I-TEAM first filed a public records request on this nearly two weeks ago.
Before responding to that, the City of Cleveland issued a news release saying it is, “conducting a review of inmates held in the Cuyahoga County Jail, on Cleveland Division of Police related charges, beyond the release date. This review shows that a total of 143 inmates were held beyond their release dates.”
The City statement also said, “No one should be held one minute longer than necessary. It’s not acceptable. The City is working with Cuyahoga County to make sure that this issue is resolved.”
The City of Cleveland reports do not spell out exact details for the delays.
But, they indicate prisoners being granted bond, yet not getting immediately released.
The records also indicate others sat waiting for court dates when they could have been released. Or, a combination of factors appeared to be involved including charges and “holds” from different police departments.
One case shows a “ CPD (Cleveland Police Department) issue caused delay being sent to court (eight days).”
Yet another blames the “CPD issue—new detective”.
We did a spot check of the records of the inmates involved.
That showed prisoners facing everything from traffic cases to felony charges.
We’ve also reached out for comment from Cuyahoga County and the Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Christopher Viland released the following statement:
“The process of releasing an inmate from the jail involves the courts, municipal jails, law enforcement agencies, and other justice system partners. Inmates cannot be released until all necessary authorizations are received and confirmed from required parties.
“The Cuyahoga County Corrections Center has gone to great lengths to bolster every release process to ensure that inmates are not released without having served the correct sentence or having the correct authorizations. We work closely with the city of Cleveland and other stakeholders to review our releases and improve processes to increase our efficiency. We will continue to do so.
“Our current staffing levels have had an effect on the timeliness of virtually everything we are required to do in the jail. We are in the process of vetting and hiring additional staff so that 24/7 operations will become more effective.”
A few years ago, the City of Cleveland closed its jail and started sending all prisoners to the County Jail.
While the focus now is on inmates held too long, in the past, the I-TEAM has revealed cases of inmates released by mistake.