WAPAKONETA — A rise in ladies jailed in Auglaize County has it contemplating its choices on the 23-year-old Auglaize County Regulation Enforcement Middle.
“When the power was inbuilt ‘98, we might solely home 11 females,” mentioned Auglaize County Sheriff Mike Vorhees, who began his first time period in January. “On the typical, since I’ve taken workplace, the typical has been 15 or extra. (Thursday) morning we had 17 females.”
That has county officers contemplating the very best plan of action “to cope with the demographic wants of at this time vs. simply a few many years in the past,” Auglaize County Doug Spencer mentioned at Thursday’s “Auglaize County State of the Metropolis, County and Colleges,” sponsored by the Wapakoneta Space Chamber of Commerce.
That might imply growth or reconfiguring the jail that’s already on the facility at 1051 Dearbaugh Ave., Wapakoneta, close to the fairgrounds and clearly seen from U.S. 33. There are state grants accessible to assist defray prices.
“One of many issues that we’re diligently working with him is a feasibility research with the legislation enforcement heart, which was constructed and moved into in 1998,” Spencer mentioned.
Vorhees labeled the feminine block his facility’s “greatest downside.”
“The issue with the feminine block is you can’t home nonviolent and violent offenders in the identical block,” he mentioned. “That’s positively a shortcoming we’re having.”
Different space jails aren’t seeing as a lot of an issue with feminine inmates lately.
Allen County Sheriff’s Workplace Main Andre McConnahea, the general public info officer, famous all inmate numbers have been down on account of COVID-19 restrictions, with judges and prosecutors working to keep away from giant crowds within the jail.
The county did see crowding points with ladies beforehand, although. The Allen County Justice Middle opened in 1990 alongside Lima’s Predominant Avenue with room for 210 inmates at a time.
“Underneath regular situations just a few years in the past, we did have occasional crowding points and had been over the really useful capability quite a few instances,” McConnahea mentioned through e mail. “This was primarily as a result of surge in feminine inmates, which we are able to assume was intently tied to the opiate epidemic, nonetheless it was to not the extent of being unmanageable.”
Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker mentioned his facility has room for 12 females and solely had six Thursday.
Vorhees additionally famous there are points supervising inmates with psychological well being points, notably “on suicide watch, and actually when it was constructed, it wasn’t constructed fairly for that.”
Psychological well being issues are the place Siefker actually notices points in his 76-bed jail, which opened in 2003.
“Our workplace struggles to get a few of these inmates the skilled assist that they want,” Siefker mentioned through e mail. “Our workplace tries to get a few of these inmates into (Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital) in Toledo, however beds are restricted and we’re placed on a ready listing. This can be a day-to-day battle during which each jail appears to cope with every single day.”
Vorhees hopes no matter selections Auglaize County makes that they’re forward-thinking.
“The largest factor I take a look at is we’d like to ensure this lasts for the longer term,” he mentioned. “This lasted us for 23 years. We’re 23 years into this, and what are we going to see sooner or later?”
The Auglaize County Regulation Enforcement Middle might require some modifications to cope with will increase within the variety of feminine and mentally sick inmates, Auglaize County officers mentioned.