Cuyahoga County Correctional Center deemed ‘At-Risk’ following review prompted by 6 inmate deaths

Cuyahoga County Correctional Center deemed ‘At-Risk’ following review prompted by 6 inmate deaths
Cuyahoga County Jail

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The U.S. Marshals Service conducted a Quality Assurance Review of the Cuyahoga County Correctional Center following recent jail troubles, including the deaths of six inmates in 2018.

According to the overall review, the facility received a rating of “Unsatisfactory/At-Risk.”

Administration and management, food service, restrictive house, and safety and sanitation were determined “Unsatisfactory/At-Risk.”

Unclear answers regarding the deaths of six inmates contributed to the “At-Risk” grade. The review also revealed that food and inmate diets were not being managed properly, and juvenile inmates were being located and treated with adult inmates.

Security and control and health care were considered “Marginal.” Services and programs was the only category that received a “Satisfactory” grade.

Cuyahoga County Correctional Center deemed ‘At-Risk’ following review prompted by 6 inmate deaths

“The Marshals’ report indicates the county jail is not meeting those high standards today. In fact, far from it. This must change, and it will change,” Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said in a statement.

The investigative team spent 3 days onsite, touring the jail and observing operations of all the Cuyahoga County Correctional Center facilities, including the main facility in Cleveland and the satellite jails in Bedford and Euclid.

The facility in Cleveland is rated to hold 1765 inmates. On the first day of the review, 2420 inmates and detainees were tallied.

Numerous interviews were conducted with staff, contractors, and inmates.

Approximately 80 percent of the inmates interviewed expressed concern about sanitation, health care, and food service in the jails. One hundred percent of the inmates say they feared retaliation from the correctional staff members for speaking with the review team members.

According to Budish, several steps are being acted on to ensure more favorable jail conditions:

"First, the health care of inmates has been a topic of concern. Some of the problems arose from a very awkward and somewhat dysfunctional division of responsibility, with the County hiring the nurses and Metro handling other medical services. Beginning in the first quarter of this year, Metro has agreed to take over the entire medical and nursing responsibilities.

Second, we are immediately working with the Marshals to prepare the Euclid jail to comply with the high federal standards set out in the Marshals’ report.

Third, I have asked our internal auditor to take a look at all policies and procedures, at inmate records management and at other crucial documentation. Our Department of Innovation and Performance and Sheriff will work alongside the auditor to make sure we have the proper policies and procedures in place."

The review is based off of federal standards designed to ensure the safety and security of detainees.

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