Archived Story

Jail problem needs to be focal point

Published 12:40pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

Solving Lawrence County’s problem of jail overcrowding is an issue that gets talked about a lot every couple of years — especially come election time — but the discussion never seems to translate into an actual solution.

Here we are again.

Lawrence County Commissioners have decided not to send additional prisoners to Scioto County because of the substantial cost to taxpayers here.

But something has to be done. The issue has been talked about relentlessly yet the jail remains dangerously overcrowded.

The reality is that crime isn’t going away and the cost of incarcerating criminals isn’t going to get cheaper anytime soon.

Current state guidelines say the jail should only house 16 inmates. Even the 50 or so that it was built for would be a significant improvement over the current occupancy of nearly 80 that seems to be a regular occurrence.

Finding a legitimate solution isn’t going to be easy and it probably isn’t going to be cheap.

It will take a multitiered approach from the courts, the commissioners, law enforcement and other agencies.

The bottom line is that now is time for real discussion and concerted effort to find a solution.




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