Jul 19, 2013

How many Erie County jail inmates receive public aid?

I'm interested in figuiring out how many inmates currently booked at the Erie County jail receive welfare, food stamps and other public aid. Can you tell me? Joe on Venice Road

Federal confidentially laws prohibit county officials from releasing  names of people collecting welfare, so it's impossible to know exactly who's on financial plans and who's not.

But here's some figures to consider:

Welfare

Welfare payments given to qualifying county residents totaled about $9 million from 2008 through 2012. Welfare is a cash-assistance program for qualifying residents to buy non-food necessities. 

There are about 250 Erie County residents receiving welfare today. Three types of people qualify for welfare:

• Disabled people unable to earn money on their own.

• Adults considered a caretaker for a child younger than 18.

• Unemployed adults living with at least one child.

Food stamps

Food stamp credits distributed to the county's impoverished residents totaled $62.2 million from 2008 through 2011.

"The food stamp benefit, which is actually called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was and is meant to serve as a bridge to ge people through a difficult time by helping them partially meet that basic need for food," said Karen Balconi Ghezzi, the county's job and family services executive director.

There is no limit on how many county residents can receive food stamps.

Jail population

The jail's average daily population in 2012 totaled 123 inmates.

At times, the number peaked to 140-plus inmates confined in a cramped space designed for just 106 bodies. The jail's fitted for 90 men and 16 women.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on SanduskyRegister.com. Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

deertracker

LOL! Don't you have more interesting things to think about?

Darwin's choice

Karen Balconi Ghezzi, how did you do helping the child that starved to death in Vermillion? Wasn't that family under your watch? Fail !

J Cooper

Joe a better question would have been how many jail inmates on welfare are Obama's supporters?

Tsu Dho Nimh

This is the second time the county has reported 250 individuals receive welfare. Not that is matters but I find that surprisingly low due to the economy and the number of minimum wage jobs in the area. With approximately 77,000 residents in the county only .003% receive welfare?

Sandusksquach

So you think more people should be on welfare? LOL.

Beerstud58

SOUNDS TO ME LIKE 250 IS A VERY CROOKED NUMBER, IS SOMEBODY AT OFFICE POCKETING MONEY ?

donutshopguy

I would like to know how many total people in the county received food stamps per year 2008-2011 ?

Also, how many of these were children?

You are talking $15,550,000 dollars per year. Would like to know how much it is costing the average taxpayer to support this program.

pptrsha

dear Sandusky register,
why do you continue to print questions that can have no good outcome? you just keep beating the same dead horse over and over. john and joe had the same questions. hmmmm, how did that happen? do you think it makes your paper more interesting? guess what! it doesn't.

yogiberra

First off...you can't receive any form of welfare, cash asst. medical or food asst if you are incarcerated. And I'm sure the they check jail rosters frequently. That 250 number for recipients receiving OWF/Tanf in Erie County can't be correct. That number may be one's who are actually participating in a work program.

AnotherHuronResident

250 does sound a bit low. Is there a source for this number?

Here are some 2008-2011 numbers published. http://jfs.ohio.gov/County/cntyp...

sash

Keeping in mind that Social Security and Unemployment Benefits are NOT welfare, the welfare number may make more sense. Despite the urban legends about welfare, it is actually very difficult to qualify for cash assistance.

Fromthe419

That is true, my friends step-son went to apply for welfare since his baby momma was getting welfare, Metro, HEAP, Obama phone and WIC and they directed him to OhioJobs, if you are a single mother you get the freebies if you are the daddy you have to find a job.

Sandusksquach

You can usually discern a person's age by how many people they think are on "welfare".

If you think the majority of unemployed people are on "welfare" you are probably older than 80.

Seems so many commentators are disappointed that there aren't more people receiving "welfare".

People used to be on "welfare" and now they're on "disability". I'd like know how many SR commentators are on "disability"?

Disability queens, driving big fancy cars, to paraphrase Reagan.