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Cuyahoga County Correction Center to Assume Operation of Cleveland Jail as part of Jail Regionalization


Contact: John O’Brien (216) 263-4635 or jfobrien@cuyahogacounty.us

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland have reached agreement subject to Council approval for The Cuyahoga County Correction Center to assume operation of the Cleveland Jail, as part of the regionalization of County Correction Center operations.

The agreement will eliminate costly duplication and save money for the City while being cost neutral to the County. This agreement enhances quality of service to City inmates through economies of scale and extends opportunities for persons sentenced for misdemeanors to obtain reentry programming and services, such as job skill training and employment services. The agreement also increases accessibility to substance abuse, mental health and other medical services.

“Today marks a milestone for Cuyahoga County, as we make major progress towards regionalizing our public safety services. Through collaboration with our county and city leaders, we are able to enhance our current jail operations, while providing more economical, efficient, and effective jail services to both the city and county,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “Once this agreement is in place, we should be able to offer the same savings and efficiencies to any city within the county. I commend Mayor Jackson, Director McGrath, Chief Bova, Sheriff Pinkney, and Director Mills, as we strive to save cities money and advance public safety.”

“The agreement helps us operationally, financially, and we will function more efficiently,” said Mayor Jackson. “When I became mayor in 2006, we began in earnest to have conversations about three issues: consolidation of jail activity, selling of police headquarters and for the City to find a new place for police headquarters –all those things are in place now.”

“As the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department transitions to a more regionalized model, this is going to allow local law enforcement officers to spend more time in the neighborhoods they serve, as opposed to operating a jail facility,” said Sheriff Clifford Pinkney.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department has formed a nine month transition plan that includes the following changes:
  • City of Cleveland will discontinue their jail booking, housing, and other related services.
  • Cuyahoga County will operate the Bedford Heights jail facility in order to manage the additional jail population. The facility will house approximately 175 male inmates, and will transition the Bedford Heights jail facility into a Comprehensive Reentry Services Center, which will offer the same offender reentry services as the county’s Euclid jail facility. Services include substance abuse help, culinary arts training, and improving employment readiness.
  • The Euclid jail facility will house female inmates and will offer Comprehensive Reentry Services to the females housed in that facility.

“Our comprehensive approach will allow increased consistency, staffing, and savings to every city, all while expanding important services to the jail population,” said Chief Community Safety and Protection Officer Frank Bova.

“This is a great example of how when governments work together, everybody benefits,” said City Council President Kevin J. Kelley. “This will result in a better experience for the inmates, for the defendants, for the prisoners in terms of having one system of providing healthcare, getting people ready for court and all of the operations that go to housing prisoners.”

Regional Director of Corrections Ken Mills: “This project is a significant step towards countywide jail rationalization.  It creates savings while increasing the quality of care and services to Law Enforcement, Courts and offenders. We are convinced that streamlining jail services will increase public safety.”

Benefits of the jail regionalization include:
  • Cost savings to the City of Cleveland. The city will pay $99 per day per inmate, which should save the city $4-5 million per year.
  • The change in structure will be cost neutral to county taxpayers.
  • Enhanced quality of service to city inmates through economies of scale.
  • Opportunities for people serving misdemeanors to access reentry programming services.
  • Frees up time for local law enforcement.
  • Increased accessibility to substance abuse, mental health, and other medical services due to the increased capacity at Euclid and Bedford Heights facilities.
  • Opens the same cost savings and efficiencies for all cities in the county.

This is a break-even venture for Cuyahoga County, which means the charges for these services are equal to the cost of providing them. The City of Cleveland will pay $5,603,413.98 in non-recurring startup expenses, which includes personnel, training, and inmate housing during the nine-month transition period. Modifications to the Bedford Heights jail facility are also included in the cost. The City of Cleveland is expected to save $4-5 million annually with the new agreement in place.

Time line as follows:
  • Bedford will open 90-120 days after contract approval.
  • Cleveland House of Corrections will close
  • Euclid will be transitioned to Female Programming facility
  • 150 days after contract approval, The Cuyahoga County Correction Center will begin receiving all Cleveland arrest & assume all operations.

The agreement must be ratified by both County and City Councils.