Archived Story

County jail solution in own backyard

Published 12:57pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I am a lifelong resident of Ironton-Lawrence County, a Kentucky-licensed funeral director and embalmer, and an honorary citizen of our sister city Ashland, Ky.

My career required work in Kentucky for several decades. My last and current employer was Preston Funeral Home.

They have a regional jail servicing local counties and the inmates are placed in a comfortable environment with ample room and are treated very favorably with ample space.

I understand Lawrence County has the distinction of being the worst county jail in Ohio. I personally visited this antiquated so-called jail to call on an incarcerated friend. My friend had to lie on a cold, dirty concrete floor and the stench was sickening. I felt sorry for the inmates, employees, sheriff and deputies.

The State of Ohio concurs.

Here is one remedy: Level the current structure. Buy the old post office, a wonderful structure built with class and quality. Close the alley and secure windows and convert the post office into multiple cells for the inmates that are not considered dangerous. The offices for the sheriff and his staff are already in place.

Then build a beautiful structure on the alley and the old jail lots. A beautiful structure would serve Lawrence County proud. There is also a lot for sale next door to the Elks for official parking.

Here is another suggestion: Regional jail. A $52 million facility built as a jail sitting in the middle of Lawrence, Scioto and Gallia counties. More than 30 acres with a state approved state-of-the-art fenced prison with ample parking.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see a way out for Sheriff Jeff Lawless. He is a good man and a great sheriff.

Why has no one thought about such a plan with millions saved. A regional jail just seems to be the best answer. The cost would be split between the three or four counties and that is a no-brainer.

We have a great remedy in our own backyard. With a cost factor providing the needed facility resolving the current threat of closure by the state.


Charles Duke Sheridan



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