More women, more inmates in both Erie, Sandusky counties

FREMONT — With more female inmates, Sandusky County jailers have had to get creative.
Jessica Cuffman
Mar 8, 2013

 

The jail on Countryside Road, built in 1988, was designed to accomodate only eight women prisoners, jail administrator Maj. Tom Fligor said.

"Twenty-five years later, more females are committing more serious crimes, and the courts are keeping them in jail," he said.

It's not unusual for there to be 14, 15 or 16 female inmates at the jail, legally double bunked and taking up floor mats.

"But the issue of space and to work around in a pod, it's just to me totally unacceptable," Fligor said.

In February, Sandusky County signed an agreement with the Ashland County jail to house some of Sandusky County's female inmates at a rate of $55 per day per inmate, plus any additional medical costs for each inmate.

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According to estimates from a few years ago, it costs Sandusky County at least $65 per inmate per day to operate the jail, Fligor said.

But the contract with Ashland County is for additional inmates, outside the jail's already set budget for the year.

So far, Fligor has sent seven women to be housed in Ashland County, women who have already been sentenced and are serving out their time for anywhere from 30 to 60 days.

Because they're already sentenced, it avoids additional costs that would incur if deputies had to drive them back and forth from Ashland County to Fremont for court proceedings.

Four of the women housed in Ashland County since have finished their time. Filgor sent over three more Friday because the female inmate count was up to 14 again.

"With this weekend coming and the warm weather, the population is probably going to go up again," he said.

The option of housing female prisoners in another jail is only a temporary solution to the problem.

"I'm having almost a daily conversation with the courts trying to get people out of here," Fligor said.

The state changes in sentencing laws for low-level felonies in 2011, meant to reduce the Ohio prison population, shifted the burden back to the county to house inmates with shorter sentences.

The burden has also shifted to probation programs and electronic monitoring to handle more convicts.

"We just have those individuals who have been through the courts so many times, judges have no choice but to throw them in jail," Fligor said.

In the long run — and in reality — the jail is going to have to expand.

It can't be built up or out.

"There's nothing we could add onto this facility," Filgor said. "We're looking at building new or to occupy or renovate a current facility to accommodate misdemeanor offenders."

"We're trying to come up with ideas and ways, alternatives, that are taxpayer friendly," he said.

 

Comments

PaulYall

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

Seen it All

"FREMONT — With more female inmates, Sandusky County jailers have had to get creative." What have they done??? Install stripper poles?

mikeylikesit

while inappropriate, it would be very creative..

Super Judge

reminds me of a movie

Mr. Touchdown

How about having two 12 hour shifts of chain-gangs to work on the roads or pick up trash...Both shifts would use same cell.Could double the number of inmates if they did that...Or they could set up tents & cots.

grandmasgirl

Because, God forbid we should make them do any work! That would be against their constitutional rights. That's the trouble with the system these days. Rewards for doing wrong. Just lay back and relax. Then go out and do it again. (Sound bitter? I am). So tired of supporting losers and getting nothing back.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

They should just skip building a larger county jail.

Go straight to building a PRISON .

Unassumer

I would bet that most of these female prisoners have a drug problem and that's where the system should start. If you get them off drugs and into doing something productive, maybe they will stop breaking the law and contribute to society instead of draining it. I realize some are beyond help but others could be rehabilitated. Not everyone is a lost cause.

ladydye_5

But why should WE (tax money you and I pay into the system) PAY for them to get REHAB? And if you ever read the Norwalk Reflector, MOST of them (there is only a small number of success stories) are REPEAT offenders. It was their CHOICE to do drugs. Let them figure it out themselves.

Ithink

Either way, taxpayers are paying, so why not channel it into some sort of rehab and perhaps, OMG, help a human being. 3 hots and a cot alone isn't rehabbing anyone.

Cityslicker

Both Sheriff's that have that overcrowding problem should contact Sheriff Joe Arpio of Maricopa Co. Arizona. His "tent cities" cure the overcrowding problem. His methods also save the county lotsa $$$$. Maybe that is why he keeps getting elected.

happyfeet64

They've been attempting to impeach him because of numerous cases of molestation and rapes that have occurred that the Sheriff and his crew have refused to investigate. As for his tough on crime stance.... well there are a number of lawsuits for inmates dying while in custody as well as an INCREASE in inmate populations=more money.

Ithink

Get any and all females out of Sandusky County--who knows what they have to endure under Overmeyer's boys. In fact, you might need an independent investigator to check out all the arrests, seeing as how inept their judicial system is in Sandusky County.

Fireside

Wanna curb our crime problem? I suggest we start with the detention center and move our way up to the county jail. Look up "Black Dolphin" and model our system after theirs. Things will straighten out quickly. http://www.dailymotion.com/video...