Growing Wood County has jails beyond capacity - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Growing Wood County has jails beyond capacity

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The wood county jail is nearly twenty years old. It's not falling apart -- it's just too small. The wood county jail is nearly twenty years old. It's not falling apart -- it's just too small.
Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar tells News 11, "Wood County has maintained population and business growth. With all the good things, we got an increase in some of the bad things." Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar tells News 11, "Wood County has maintained population and business growth. With all the good things, we got an increase in some of the bad things."
Sheriff Wasylyshyn is proposing expanding jail capacity from 149 beds to 200. "In the short term, we have empty beds that I can now rent out to other counties." Sheriff Wasylyshyn is proposing expanding jail capacity from 149 beds to 200. "In the short term, we have empty beds that I can now rent out to other counties."

WOOD COUNTY -- Wood County is growing and so is the crime rate. That's resulting in overcrowding at the county jail in Bowling Green.

The county commissioners are spending 35,000 dollars for a study on what to do about the situation.

News 11's Dick Berry of the Wood County Levis Commons bureau reports there could be a major expansion.

The wood county jail is nearly twenty years old. It's not falling apart -- it's just too small.

Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar tells News 11, "Wood County has maintained population and business growth. With all the good things, we got an increase in some of the bad things."

Bad things like crime.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says, "We have been spending money on housing inmates in other counties because we are beyond our capacity."

Last year, shipping inmates out cost the county 124,000 dollars. Sheriff Wasylyshyn is proposing expanding jail capacity from 149 beds to 200. "In the short term, we have empty beds that I can now rent out to other counties," says  Wasylyshyn, "Bring money into Wood County by housing inmates 'in' instead of 'out' and recoup the cost of construction."

At this point, there are no plans to ask voters to approve a levy for the expansion. Funding will come from a permanent improvement fund and some borrowed money.

The jail study will be completed in six months.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn tells News 11 there are times when other county jails are filled to capacity, and he has no other place to ship his inmates. When that happen, the inmates sleep on cots or the floor.

At no time have they been released early because of overcrowding.

Posted by LS