SUMMIT COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - This weekend, the Summit County Jail will release a significant number of inmates early, due to a shortage of operating funds. In November 2014, voters rejected a 25-cent sales tax that would have raised $20 million over the coming decade. In December 2014, officials rejected a $3.6 million request by the sheriff to hire more employees.
As a result, about one-third of the jail has been closed.
The partial closure is not because the jail is overcrowded, but because it is understaffed.
According to Inspector Bill Holland, safety is the top priority.
"We don't want to put any of our staff in any sort of danger," Holland said.
In preparation, the Sheriff's Office has met with the Summit County Common Pleas Court Judges, Akron, Stow, and Barberton Municipal Court Judges, Summit County Adult Probation, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, local Chiefs of Police, Summit County Jail Medical Services, community support programs, and psychological service providers.
A few inmates have already been released, but a larger number is scheduled to be released on Sunday.