Sheriff against regional jail concept

Joedy McCreary

May 2, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

In a released statement to the Daily Times, Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini says he is against the idea of re-opening the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile as a regional jail.

“It would not be in the best interests of the residents of Scioto County to support the operation of a multi county/regional jail in Scioto County,” Donini said.

He said the idea of a regional jail with Scioto, Pike and Lawrence Counties was first proposed 10 to 12 years ago, prior to the opening of the current Scioto County Jail. Donini said at the time, Scioto County was paying more than a million dollars a year to house inmates in other places. He also said Scioto County’s former jail on the fourth floor of the courthouse was experiencing ‘serious overcrowding.’

“At the time we (Scioto, Pike and Lawrence Counties) as a group decided that it was not in the best interest of the group as a whole and elected not to participate in the operation of a multi county/regional jail,” Donini said.

Donini asks what would Scioto County gain from the operation of such a facility.

“What’s in it for Scioto County, nothing positive, we currently have one of the newest, most efficient county jails located in Ohio and we are generating over a million dollars per-year housing inmates from other counties including Pike and Lawrence County,” Donini said. “Scioto County has been under fiscal emergency since 2009 and since then, the Scioto County Jail has played a major role in assisting in generating significant revenues to pull Scioto County out of debt. The opening of a multi county/regional jail would have a significant negative impact on Scioto County as the result of losing over $1 million dollars of revenue each year. Residents of Scioto County should ask themselves, who would really benefit from such a move, the answer is simple…not Scioto County.”

State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson has scheduled a time for regional and state officials to meet and tour the facility. While there Johnson hopes the group will brainstorm about the idea of a regional jail.

The tour has been set for May 16, among those who are expected to attend include Commissioners and Sheriffs from Adams, Pike, Lawrence and Scioto Counties. Representatives from he Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections are expected to be in attendance to provide insights and information.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.