Note: This is the second part of a series of columns, appearing in the Jan. 22 newspaper on Page A2. This part gives a more detailed breakdown and explanation of the judge’s message about the jail.
Our current jail risks an order to close each day it operates.
The 40 male jail beds stand nearly always full each day of the year. Running over the allowed 40 beds creates conflict with the State of Ohio Bureau of Jails (Prisons), which could result in the ordered closure of the entire local jail.
The actual name of the regulating agency is called the Bureau of Adult Detention or one can refer to it more simply as just plain B.A.D.
The Bureau, for example, enforces mandates such as reducing what was a 45 jail bed space to 40 beds in order to increase the amount of floor space per inmate.
The amount of lighting is enforced by B.A.D. Along with other items that also carry a cost. B.A.D. Contributes no funding to cover its mandates. In fairness to B.A.D., undoubtedly the Bureau must enforce certain items according to national standards or face its own federal consequences likely impacting its own prison operations with likely funding consequences if non-compliant.
However, what we, residents of Jackson County, need to understand was as B.A.D. enforced its unfounded mandates that it continued during the Governor (John) Kasich administration when our local government funds were also seized first at the rate of 25 percent of the 50 percent per year and finally 100 percent of local government sharing money was seized.
Unfunded mandates coupled with the seizure of our local funds should illuminate some of the reasons that our Board of Commissioners is always low on funds.
In summary, it should be realized that no one who lives or works in Jackson County itself has any input on the big-ticket items influencing jail financing.