72 Inmates released in Akron due to funding woes - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

72 Inmates released in Akron due to funding woes

72 inmates are now free thanks to funding issues in Summit COunty.  (Source: WOIO) 72 inmates are now free thanks to funding issues in Summit COunty. (Source: WOIO)
Summit County Sheriff says they need 3.6 million dollars to hire more employees.  (Source: WOIO) Summit County Sheriff says they need 3.6 million dollars to hire more employees. (Source: WOIO)
SUMMIT COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Seventy-two inmates walk out the doors of the Summit County Jail to instant freedom, not because they served their time, but because the sheriff says there's a lack of funding - 3.6 million dollars needed to hire more employees. 

"No murder, no rape, we have some drug possessions.  We have some thefts, probation violations. We have a few assaults, this type of thing, domestics," said Steve Barry the Summit County Sheriff.

Derrick Wilkes says he was in for drug possession.  He says he probably would have served four months longer had it not been for this lucky break. 

"I'll be 55, January 26th of this year.  I was getting ready to spend my birthday in jail, but thanks to this release, I'll be home with my family, and my grandkids and my sons. I've got five sons and five grand babies, so this is a wonderful thing for me,”
said Wilkes of Akron.

One prisoner complained about conditions inside the jail.  He said this release was necessary. 

"I was locked down for hours and hours of the day because they don't have enough deps to work on our shift.  It's pitiful in there.  They feed us breakfast: bread, a banana and peanut butter for breakfast ."

Organizations like FI Community Housing handed out gloves, scarves and mittens.  Arrangements were made ahead of time for inmates needing a place to go. 

The inmates released today still have post-release programs that they'll need to complete.

Marquess Shepard says he was in for violating a protection order.  He now has to return to court.

“I'm about to go see my kids, take them shopping.  Just get everything back in order," said Shepard of Akron.

The Sheriff says he's not sure what will happen moving forward.
 
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