Protesters, seeking change at Cuyahoga County Jail, rally against deaths and overcrowding

Protesters, seeking change at Cuyahoga County Jail, rally against deaths and overcrowding
Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones leads a rally at the scandal-plagued Justice Center in the hopes of solving the jail's overcrowding problems. Source: WOIO

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones led a rally Thursday evening at the scandal-plagued Justice Center.

Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones is leading a rally at the scandal-plagued Justice Center. Nine inmates have died since June 2018, and 10 former jail employees face criminal charges. Full story: https://bit.ly/33qt0XR

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Nine inmates have died since June 2018, and 10 former jail employees face criminal charges related to physical violence and civil rights violations.

In addition to reports of inhumane conditions and violent treatment, overcrowding remains a lingering issue, according to protesters.

The jail is designed to hold about 1,700 inmates, but it averages around 2,100, and has peaked at more than 2,400.

Earlier this week, 14 local organizations sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley pushing for bail reform. The letter stated that inmates being held on minor, nonviolent charges -- who can’t afford bail -- should be released to bring the jail’s population down to safer levels.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney, who officially resigned on Aug. 2, testified before Cleveland City Council late last month and pointed the finger at County Executive Armond Budish when questioned about the jail and its operations.

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