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Gov. Mike DeWine to deploy Ohio Military Reserve to staff short-handed Cuyahoga County Jail

The state is sending assistance to the Cuyahoga County Jail to replace workers out sick. [Nick Castele / Ideastream Public Media]
Cuyahoga County Jail

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is sending military reserve support staff to the Cuyahoga County Jail after a wave of medical absences left local officials short handed.

DeWine is deploying 25 members of the Ohio Military Reserve, a unit trained to offer disaster relief and medical support to state and local government. They’ll begin their 30-day deployment Dec. 28.

“I am pleased that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Ohio Military Reserve will be able to help alleviate some of the challenges and help the jail to continue to provide a safe environment for both staff and those who are housed at the facility,” the governor said in a news release.  

The jail will also carry out a safety plan that includes limiting in-person visits – including by attorneys – only to those “deemed absolutely necessary.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish thanked DeWine for the help in a news release Wednesday morning.

“Recently, we have seen different variants spread quickly throughout our community, which has sadly resulted in our county having the third most positive cases per capita in the entire nation,” Budish said. “The County Jail is no exception and unfortunately reflects this grave trend with 160 inmates and 42 corrections staff testing positive as of today.”

The military reserve staff will take on basic tasks within the jail, such as escorting inmates to medical care or delivering meals, jail director Ronda Gibson told Ideastream Public Media.

With reporting by Ideastream Public Media’s Matt Richmond.

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