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Summit County Jail Commission Recommends Major Changes

Summit County Councilman David Hamilton
David Hamilton, Chairman of Summit County Jail Operations Advisory Commission

A commission appointed to study ways to make the Summit County jail safer has released its report.  Its recommendations include adding staff, improving officer training, and installing new surveillance equipment.

The report Monday to County Councilcalls for significant spending to improve jail operations.  But it concludes that  can be accomplished without raising taxes. The money will be shifted from lower priority items in the sheriff’s department’s annual $30 million budget.  

Bill Holland
Summit County's Sheriff's Department Inspector Bill Holland

Inspector Bill Holland with the sheriff’s department says, among other things, $400 thousand in new camera systems means there will always be enough cells specially equipped for suicide watches.  “Up to twelve cells.  We generally don’t have twelve inmates that are suicidal at one time but we at times have four or six.”

Holland also says with the new system’s 240 high tech cameras there will no longer be blind spots in the jail, making it safer for inmates and staff alike.