More talks on jail move

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, September 4, 2014

Setting up an agreement with Southern Ohio Medical Center to provide medical services for the proposed new county jail at Franklin Furnace is the next step sought in moving the facility to Scioto County.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and County Commission President Les Boggs participated in a conference call on Wednesday morning with various state officials including Gary Mohr, director of the state department of rehabilitation and corrections.

“They wanted us to reach out to SOMC and see if we can have a meeting to discuss contracting out some medical services,” Lawless said.

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Right now the county doesn’t have a contract with any medical facility but will take inmates to the closest in-state medical center when prisoners fall ill.

“They want to make sure the facility is covered by medical services,” Lawless said.

The county is hoping to move its jail to the 100-bed unit at the now closed Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Franklin Furnace with STAR Community Justice Center taking over the remainder of the facility. For some time the current jail has been in non-compliance with the state over a variety of issues, including extreme overcrowding.

The state would like to see both the jail and STAR have a contract set for medical coverage.

Lawless is still waiting to get funding from the county commissioners before he can begin hiring the 38 corrections officers he wants for the new jail.

“On top of hiring them, I will have to get them trained and find a training class and pay for that,” he said. “And there are underlying costs they haven’t been thinking about.”

Those incidentals include desks, chairs, uniform, radios, protective vests and computers throughout the center.

“The list goes on and on,” Lawless said.

The state would like the move to be completed by January 2015. The next conference call with the state is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24.