City of Cleveland Transfers Cleveland Jail and House of Corrections to Cuyahoga County

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Agreement removes duplicated services and reduces taxpayer cost

CLEVELAND – The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have reached an agreement for the Cuyahoga County Correction Center to assume operation of the Cleveland Jail. The legislation was approved by Cleveland City Council June 5 and will be introduced to Cuyahoga County Council later this week.

The agreement eliminates costly duplication and saves money for the City while being cost neutral to the County. This agreement enhances quality of service to City inmates through economies of scale and extends opportunities for persons sentenced for misdemeanors to obtain reentry programming and services, such as job skill training and employment services. The agreement also increases accessibility to substance abuse, mental health and other medical services.

“The agreement helps us operationally, financially, and we will function more efficiently,” said Mayor Jackson. “When I became mayor in 2006, we began in earnest to have conversations about three issues: consolidation of jail activity, selling of police headquarters and for the City to find a new place for police headquarters –all those things are in place now.”

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department has formed a nine month transition plan that includes the following changes:

  1. City of Cleveland will discontinue their jail booking, housing, and other related services.
  2. Cuyahoga County will operate the Bedford Heights jail facility in order to manage the additional jail population. The facility will house approximately 175 male inmates, and will transition the Bedford Heights jail facility into a Comprehensive Reentry Services Center, which will offer the same offender reentry services as the county’s Euclid jail facility. Services include substance abuse help, culinary arts training, and improving employment readiness. 
  3. The Euclid jail facility will house female inmates and will offer Comprehensive Reentry Services to the females housed in that facility.

“Today marks a milestone for Cuyahoga County, as we make major progress towards regionalizing our public safety services. Through collaboration with our county and city leaders, we are able to enhance our current jail operations, while providing more economical, efficient, and effective jail services to both the city and county,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “Once this agreement is in place, we should be able to offer the same savings and efficiencies to any city within the county. I commend Mayor Jackson, Director McGrath, Chief Bova, Sheriff Pinkney, and Director Mills, as we strive to save cities money and advance public safety.”

Benefits of the jail regionalization include:

  • Cost savings to the City of Cleveland. The city will pay $99 per day per inmate, which should save the city $4-5 million per year.
  • The change in structure will be cost neutral to county taxpayers.
  • Enhanced quality of service to city inmates through economies of scale.
  • Opportunities for people serving misdemeanors to access reentry programming services.
  • Frees up time for local law enforcement.
  • Increased accessibility to substance abuse, mental health, and other medical services due to the increased capacity at Euclid and Bedford Heights facilities.
  • Opens the same cost savings and efficiencies for all cities in the county.

This is a break-even venture for Cuyahoga County, which means the charges for these services are equal to the cost of providing them. The City of Cleveland will pay $5,603,413.98 in non-recurring startup expenses, which includes personnel, training, and inmate housing during the nine-month transition period. Modifications to the Bedford Heights jail facility are also included in the cost. The City of Cleveland is expected to save $4-5 million annually with the new agreement in place.

“This is a great example of how when governments work together, everybody benefits,” said City Council President Kevin J. Kelley. “This will result in a better experience for the inmates, for the defendants, for the prisoners in terms of having one system of providing healthcare, getting people ready for court and all of the operations that go to housing prisoners.”

Time line as follows:

  • Bedford will open 90-120 days after contract approval.
  • Cleveland House of Corrections will close
  • Euclid will be transitioned to Female Programming facility
  • 150 days after contract approval, The Cuyahoga County Correction Center will begin receiving all Cleveland arrest & assume all operations.

The agreement must be ratified by both County and City Councils. The sale of the Justice Center is subject to County Council approval.

About the City of Cleveland

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at www.city.cleveland.oh.us, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofcleveland.

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