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Officials at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio will pursue a state grant that could help offset expenses for its members as was learned during Wednesday’s board meeting.
The Incarceration Reduction Post Release grant program – funded through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) -- calls for using 20 beds at CCNO for those who have been sanctioned incarceration and may serve up to 270 days for the ODRC. The average stay is about 120 days. The state will pay $77 per day per inmate. Board members agreed that CCNO’s member beds and capacity will remain at 638 and this program would be in addition.
The grant, once approved, would involve accepting state offenders starting Jan. 1 thru June 30. The program would then be reviewed and could be expanded. A state official said short-term offenders are costly for ODRC to process and hold. Using CCNO beds would be more economically sound. State officials had recently toured CCNO and said they were impressed with its structure, sanitary conditions and available programs.
Members agreed that the distribution of payments made by the state would be determined by the board at its first meeting in 2017 after all payments had been received.
In an effort to boost a reserve fund, members agreed to make quarterly contributions totaling $250,000 in the special fund designed to cover unexpected emergency costs to include unemployment, retirement benefits, sick pay and severance. Payments are based on percentage participation into CCNO. Toledo officials voted against the proposal.
Board members asked for more time on whether to continue the Pay-for-Stay™ program in practice at CCNO for the past five years. Members were told by Intellitech President John Jacobs that his agency does not impact credit ratings or hire a collection agency when collecting outstanding jail fees once an offender is released from CCNO. This review comes after CCNO and other jails in Ohio were publically questioned about the Pay-for-Stay™ practice by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.)Under the Pay-for-Stay™ program, participating jurisdictions have received more than $500,000 in the past five years. Mr. Jacobs said the agency helps collect funds on behalf of the taxpayers. Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken questioned the capabilities of anyone being able to pay jail fees after their release if unemployed, has a felony record and is delinquent in child support payments. Mr. Dennis noted that a fair number of judges have declared former inmates indigent at which time no jail fees are collected.
In his operational report, Mr. Dennis said Wednesday’s population stood at 560. The population averaged 92 percent during October and November. He said three overcrowding emergencies were declared in November, closing doors temporarily to Lucas and Defiance counties.
Mr. Dennis said the Four CountyADAMhs board was recently awarded a two-year opiate treatment state grant totaling $300,000. Grant funds will be provided to Recovery Services to fight heroin addiction among the high risk population to include inmates leaving CCNO.
Members voted unanimously to re-elect Defiance County Sheriff Dave Westrick as board chairman. They also elected Williams County Commissioner Al Word as vice chair and Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken as secretary.
Members met in executive session to discuss pending union negotiations and imminent litigation for 98 minutes.
In open session, with Toledo officials absent, board members approved new contract agreements with the unions representing the corrections supervisors, case managers and corrections officers employed at CCNO. Under the agreements, employees will receive a $1,000 signing bonus along with a 2 percent wage increase for the next three years. Fees were increased for health care. The incentives and expenses were extended to non-union employees.
Members authorized their legal counsel, Marc Fishel, to take what legal action is necessary to enforce CCNO’s fifth amended operating agreement.
Members also authorized the three board officers to work with the executive director to create a strategy plan to continue necessary operations at CCNO in case of a funding shortfall.
Page last updated November 09, 2017