Cuyahoga County Board of Control approves contract for security assessment at jail

Leaders say fixing problems at the jail will be a multi-step process.

Cuyahoga County Board of Control approves contract for security assessment at jail
The Cuyahoga County Board of Control has approved a contract for American Correctional Association to complete a security assessment of the county jail.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As pressure mounts for jail reform at the Cuyahoga County Jail leaders are promising action. Since June, seven inmates have died while in custody of the countywide system.

Monday, the Cuyahoga County Board of Control approved a contract with American Correctional Association to investigate how correctional officers carry out their work and all security and safety issues surrounding officers and inmates.

The contract cannot exceed $38,570.

Security assessment approved for Cuyahoga County Jail

Council members asked the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department numerous questions about how fast the assessment will be completed and how quickly recommendations will be offered and implemented. The sheriff's department operates the jail.

A spokesperson said the American Correctional Association will work in phases and within a few months findings and recommendations will start to be identified.

During the meeting the spokesperson reiterated work is ongoing to fix issues identified in a U.S. Marshals study which found the jail to be “Unsatisfactory/At-Risk."

“We haven't been sitting idling by and not doing anything since this (U.S. Marshals report) has come out,” the spokesperson said. “We've already been making changes and improvements and things like that... we will incorporate this (American Correctional Association findings) into a plan as we move forward.”

Coming up on #WakeUpCleveland— a LIVE report on what the Cuyahoga County Board of Control did during a meeting to address reported issues at the county jail.

Posted by Damon Maloney Cleveland 19 News on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The U.S. Marshals report deemed administration and management, food service, restrictive house, and safety and sanitation "Unsatisfactory/At-Risk."

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.

At Monday’s meeting, the county board said to expect more action to improve the jail including improved training and a process to review and revise jail protocol.

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