STRYKER, OH (Toledo News Now) – There are overcrowding concerns at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, which means some inmates could be released early. The idea is being presented to area judges right now.
The director at the CCNO said releasing some of the nonviolent offenders a month or two early could actually be safer than having a jail at or above capacity. Offenders from five different counties, along with the city of Toledo, are sent to CCNO to serve their sentence.
"Over the last two months, we've seen an increase in the inmate population by about 20 people per day. Then in the past two weeks, we've seen that increase by another 20 a day," said Jim Dennis, CCNO director.
Dennis said he has contacted judges in the area and asked them to review cases for the nonviolent offenders. He hopes some can be released early to avoid overcrowding.
"We're concerned about safety issues for staff and safety issues for the inmate population," said Dennis. "We want to avoid fights. We want to avoid escape attempts. We don't want predators having reign over weaker inmates."
As a solution, Dennis is asking judges to release nonviolent inmates who have served at least 60 percent of their sentence.
Some are worried about the possibility of inmates being back on the street, while others support the idea.
According to Dennis, not many inmates have been released. However, if the facility reaches capacity, the jail will have no option but to shut their doors to new offenders, forcing counties to send them elsewhere.
"That's the last thing we wanna do: shut off access to law enforcement. We want to make sure they're able to keep the public safe and the bad guys off the street," said Dennis.
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