CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It took nearly two weeks, but 19 News finally got the state of Ohio’s jail inspection reports for the Portage County Jail.
The delay the sheriff says is because they didn’t have complete records and had to get them from the state. They show a troubling trend.
The report for 2015 shows what’s called an “essential flaw:" No working fire system.
Another is called an “important flaw:” The fact there was no required training of staff in dealing with inmates.
It got better.
In 2016: The jail was in compliance.
In 2017, the new and required wide-ranging suicide guidelines were not in place. There had been recent suicides at the facility.
Then the bottom fell out in 2018. Seven essential and five important guidelines not met, totalling 12 in all.
Problems included not enough beds or toiletries provided, an unsafe plywood perimeter fence due to construction, and a security system was not functioning, which meant surveillance cameras didn’t work in the booking area and the jail itself.
Two-way communications were also out.
Overcrowding at the jail meant not enough sleeping space, day space, or sitting space.
The same year, the State Fire Marshal inspected and recommended safety improvements.
They weren’t done.
Also, no fire drills, no evacuation plan and most seriously, no plan on how to handle hazardous waste.
Sheriff David Doak has not commented on the jail problems in weeks. The email from his office says it we have any questions we should call the Department of Corrections.