The Stark County Jail, which had its inmate population trimmed to 300 last year, due to budget cuts and deputy layoffs, will be adding more deputies and prisoners beginning next month, thanks to county voters approving a sales tax.
Stark County Chief Deputy Michael McDonald tells AkronNews Now " On July 5th we're going to open up some more areas in the jail. We've been able to hire some folks and we can now have the population to increase to 400."
McDonald credits Stark County judges with being very creative in coming up with sentencing alternatives to keep the jail population lower during the impact of the budget cuts.
McDonald says the Sheriff's Department plans to have the jail back to its full capacity of 500 prisoners by early next year.
But that's not all that will improve.
" We're also going to put some people back out on patrol. It's very dangerous for our patrol officers right now. They're working extremely short handed, and we're committed her at the sheriff's office to getting that built up too," says McDonald.
He says the situation at the jail was dangerous at times over the past year due to jail personnel cutbacks. " We had a lot of officers get hurt. The inmates knew we were short staffed, and as a result they began to assault our officers. So that's stopped now that we've been able to hire more people."