Creating a five-year vision for the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio in Stryker will be the focus of a special subcommittee following an Oct. 4 meeting of the Corrections Commission.
At the recommendation of the Financial Overview Committee, members voted in favor of creating a Strategic Planning Subcommittee that will be comprised of one board member from each of the participating jurisdictions.
Williams County Commissioner Brian Davis, who also serves as the vice chairman, said the subcommittee will discuss the direction to fulfill the mission, as well as fill beds, for the next five years at CCNO. Earlier, Lucas County announced it intended to build a 650-bed jail and leave the regional jail.
The action came after Lucas County announced plans to decrease its bed usage from 323 in 2017 to 275 in 2018. However, officials were told Lucas County Common Pleas judges have not finalized the number of the county’s beds it may use at CCNO through state funding.
The county was reminded to bid for CCNO beds in advance so that an operating budget could be created. The commitment for beds was due in July. The board voted to reserve 25 beds to house federal inmates, an increase of 10 beds originally reserved in April.
The remaining contracted counties retained their 2017 bed allocations for 2018: 55 for Fulton County; 37 for Henry County; 60 for Defiance County; and 58 for Williams County.
Due to unfunded beds, and to maintain financial viability through this year, the fiscal manager was authorized to use the reserve fund, if necessary, to cover operating expenses. CCNO members were informed that shortage would amount to $580,000 by year’s end.
An overcrowding emergency was declared Oct. 3, with doors shut to Defiance County with 122 percent capacity; Henry County with 100 percent capacity; and Lucas County with 109 percent capacity. The counties were instructed to reduce inmate populations so that doors are reopened for them.
In other business, the board authorized the purchase of ballistic vests at an estimated cost of $10,000, although a $4,000 rebate is expected.
CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis said new hiring and training programs have been developed in an effort to streamline new staff with on the job training.