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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  • Geronimo

    Just a few words of thought. Many of our major problems , local , state and federal is because we (Our elected leaders) refuse to raise taxes on the rich. We don’t mind putting levies on the ballots , raising sales taxes to make sure the poor pay their share. Are we all not Lawrence County Citizens , from Ohio and most of all , are we not Americans ? Why shouldn’t we work together and reap together?

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  • Poor Richard

    I think that building in Franklin Furnace is still empty and deteoriating daily.

    Just wondering how these other counties have adequate jails. Did they actually plan ahead?

    Let the feds or state build a new prison at the airport property and as part of the deal, a county jail next door. Then all we have to do is transport the scum from Ironton to South Point.

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  • mickakers

    Ozzy; To use a popular phrase, your leaders have been “kicking the can down the road” now, it has come home to rest.

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  • mickakers

    Ozzy; A decision should be made, if raising taxes is the answer, then so be it. The public never likes taxes. Living in a civilized society with benefits and services costs money. The alternative of not paying taxes, is to due without public benefits and services. Leadership has the responsibility to conscientiously explore all avenues when it comes to solving problems, if the only reasonable solution is an unpopular one, the decision has to be made. This jail problem did not just happen yesterday, it has been coming on for years, this demonstrates a lack of vision on the part of your leaders as exemplified by the deterioration of Memorial Hall.

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  • mickakers

    Man! You all have really been dragging your feet on this issue. There appears to be a lack of leadership, let me rephrase that, THERE IS A LACK OF LEADERSHIP.

    (Report comment)

    • Ozzy

      Mick, what do propose they should do? The Commissioners, Sheriff, Judges, and other traveled to Columbus seeking help and got none. There is only so much money to keep our local government operating so there is no money to build a new jail unless there is a tax placed on the people. Now we just seen what the public thinks of taxes. So, either we keep going the way we are and suffer through or we raise taxes to build a new jail or we stop putting criminals in jail and let them run free through our neighborhoods to continue to rob us blind.

      I would just like to know what more “Leadership” you think these men and women should do?

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