Jails are full, so officials seek alternatives

CLEVELAND (AP) - The northeast Ohio jails are crowded. Rising violent crime and suburban population growth have contributed to jail overcrowding.

In Cuyahoga, Summit and Geauga counties, the jails are more than 20 percent over capacity. Lorain County is nearing 20 percent.

The situation has forced Cuyahoga County to board 400 inmates a day in municipal jails, at a cost of about $25,000 a day.

Summit County hired a Florida-based jail consultant who recommended streamlining the criminal justice system to keep more nonviolent offenders out of jail pending trial.

Also, construction is under way in Cuyahoga County to move administrative offices off the jail's fourth floor and to add 48 beds to the 1,750-bed facility.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)