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Cuyahoga County Seeks Consultant's Advice For Fixing Troubled Jail

The Cuyahoga County Justice Center complex in 2014. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
The Cuyahoga County Justice Center complex in 2014.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish wants to hire a consultant to help improve conditions in the county jail, which the U.S. Marshals Service deemed “inhumane” in a November report.

The Budish administration plans to ask the county’s board of control to approve a $38,500 contract with the American Correctional Association, a professional group for prisons and jails based in Alexandria, Virginia.

The ACA would send three experts in security and one in health care to visit the county’s jails. They’d look at the main downtown facility, as well as the ones in Euclid and Bedford.

The consultants would examine policies, staffing numbers, grievances, reports on inmate deaths and other records. They would give the county a new security staffing plan, a technology evaluation and offer other advice on improving the facility.

Mary Louise Madigan, the county’s communications director, said jail leaders have taken additional steps to improve conditions after the marshals’ report.

In an email, she said that juvenile inmates are now getting more food, curtains have been added to the showers and the county plans to hire a professional vendor to run the kitchen.

Budish asked for the review by the marshals after several deaths in the jail. The report concluded that conditions in the jail endangered both staff and inmates.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.