Summit County released more than 70 inmates from its county jail Sunday amid budget cuts that forced Sheriff Steve Barry to close a wing of the facility. By Tuesday, three of them were already facing new charges.
This comes as no surprise to Barry, who says the high rate of recidivism nationwide leads to the expectation that at least some of them will be back in jail at some point.
Barry says he personally spoke to the inmates before their released and told them not to come back. He says many of them had to have their bond or other terms modified to make it so that they could get out of jail.
Those who come back should not expect to be released early again, Barry says.
Summit County Jail closed a wing of its facility Sunday, releasing 72 inmates.
The inmates walked out of the jail just after noon Sunday, greeting families and social organizations.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports the inmates are mostly nonviolent, with low-level felonies.
Some are going to shelters, alternative sentencing programs, or back home.
FI Community Housing of Akron presented the former inmates with gloves, hats, and other cold-weather accessories at their release.
A section of the jail is closing due to financial reasons. The county attempted to increase funds through a sales tax increase that was voted down in November.
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Many changes are coming to the Summit County Jail in 2015 and some of that includes the release of some inmates. Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry spoke about the 149 beds that will be eliminated at the E. Crosier Street facility to better coincide with the staffing of deputies there.
Barry said that the Sheriff's Department plans on working with the Oriana House in the weeks and months ahead to see about moving some of the inmates there if they meet the criteria.
"We have to look at their previous record, their current charge, and any history of violence," Sheriff Barry explained.
When Issue 12 failed in Summit County in November, officials raised the possibility of inmates being released from the Summit County Jail as a way to reduce costs. To offset this possibility, Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry has asked the county for $3.6 million in additional funds. He explained the need for the money and which offenders would be released.
The man charged with aggravated murder in the stabbing death of a Cuyahoga Falls woman in August is facing more charges after a jail fight.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office says it happened Tuesday at about 9:30, when Jeffery Conrad produced a weapon made from a plunger and stabbed inmate Dennis McClelland several times, before deputies got in and broke up the fight.
McClelland was treated and released at Akron General Medical Center, then returned to the jail.
Conrad is behind bars charged with aggravated murder in the death of his former girlfriend, Amanda Russell. Russell was found dead outside her 8th Street home by her teenage daughter.
Conrad now faces additional charges including attempted murder and felonious assault.
A robbery suspect has been arrested in Akron. Shaun Michael Hargett, 34, of South Firestone Boulevard was captured by the U.S. Marshals Office Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force around Wednesday afternoon in the 600 block of Merton Avenue. He was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Hargett was wanted for aggravated burglary and robbery of a 67 year old man on South Firestone Boulevard. Hargett forced open a door and ransacked the victim’s home. The victim came home for lunch and found Hargett inside. When confronted, Hargett lunged at the victim with a knife. Hargett then fled.
The hit-skip driver being sought by Akron Police for striking and seriously injuring a construction worker on I-77 has been captured. Akron Police and the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive task Force tracked 40-year old Tamika Perkins down at her home. She was found hiding behind the furnace in her basement. She was arrested without incident.
Perkins was driving a tan SUV that struck the worker in a construction zone on I-77 near Vernon Odom Boulevard last month.. She then fled the scene. Perkins was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Perkins, of Hollinger Street in Akron is charged with felony hit skip, driving under a suspended license, driving on a closed road and failure to control.
Around 8pm on September 9th Tamika Perkins was driving a tan SUV northbound on Interstate 77 at Vernon Odom Boulevard, when she drove into the construction zone and struck a worker. Perkins fled the area. The victim suffered serious injuries.
Tamika Perkins has been booked into the Summit County Jail.
A new report recommends the Summit County Jail hire more than 50 new workers.
Jail expert Rod Miller prepared the report and told The Beacon Journal the facility can't be run safely with the 205 current employees. He said the jail should employ more than 258 people and if it can't, the county should shut portions of it down.
Miller also recommended adding recreation time for inmates, hiring more captains, and doing a better job of combining the operations of the County Jail and the Glenwood Jail, a county-owned, minimum security jail that is run in conjunction with Oriana House.
Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry told WAKR's Ray Horner Morning Show he agrees with the findings in the report.
"The study definitely validates the concerns we've had now for quite a while," he said.
The low staffing numbers have caused a reduction in recreation time for inmates, something Barry said he's concerned about.
"When you cannot give these people what they are due, their physical daily activities of exercise and a little bit of room to walk around, make their phone calls, and this kind of thing, it just sets for a very very disturbing tone down there," he said.
The county has implemented several measures to cut costs and reduce the jail population, including ankle bracelet monitoring and lower bonds for non-violent offenders. Barry said the county has exhausted its options, leaving closing the jail as the only choice if more staff cannot be added.
Miller's report comes as part of a settlement involving female deputies who sued over staffing issues related to gender. If the two sides can't agree on how to correct the problems, federal court Judge Sara Lioi will be tasked with sorting it out.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
Springfield Twp. Police have arrested 48 year old Craig Alan Jenkins of Mogadore on a felony charge of illegally having a weapon on school grounds.
Shortly after 8:30 this morning, officers responded to Young Elementary School for a reported domestic disturbance. The disturbance was determined to be in relation to a child custody issue and took place while the child was being dropped off at the school. Officers found that Jenkins had two loaded handguns in his vehicle.
Investigators say there is currently no evidence that the weapons were ever brought into the school building or that there were any threats made involving the weapons.
Jenkins is currently being held in the Summit County Jail.
Charges are facing a caregiver at a facility for the developmentally disabled in Silver Lake after he allegedly assaulted a resident.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports that Dhaka Battarai, 28, of Akron, is charged with assault of a functionally impaired person, a felony.
The charges were filed after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office detective assigned to the Developmental Disabilities Board. It was alleged that the group home employee assaulted the developmentally disabled 41-year old female resident while bathing her. The assault was witnessed by another person.
Battarai was arrested Friday and sent to the Summit County Jail.
The investigation continues with more charges expected.