Diversion sentencing?

By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com

One of the major problems facing Scioto County is the overcrowding of the Scioto County Jail on a somewhat regular basis. The capacity of the jail is 190, but at times the population reaches 240-250, which has led to discussions with Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini, the Scioto County Commissioners and judges of both the Portsmouth Municipal Court and the Scioto County Common Pleas Court as to possible alternatives to sentencing to home incarceration for low-level offenders.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is charged with funneling the money for Portsmouth Municipal Court for home monitoring through the county. The money is from the Community Corrections Act Grant Review Revenue Fund.

“We received $72,775.75 and they (home monitoring system supplier) send us an invoice and say they would like to have their money,” Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said.

The money covers the period of April 1 through June 30.

The Daily Times asked Davis if their had been any more discussion as to diversion sentencing.

“Yes,” Davis said. “When we met with them (judges) originally, we had a discussion. The Municipal Court, just by nature of what they do, misdemeanors, you’re usually not dealing with (people) who haven’t been charged with a felony. They (PMC) do really well with their diversion. If they run into someone that they’re sending to jail, they can do the home monitoring. They do a great job between (Steve) Mowery and (Russell) Kegley.”

The crimes and sentencing get more serious when they go through the Scioto County Common Pleas Court. That court deals with felony levels F-1 through F-5.

“With F-4s and F-5s they can use different (facilities) like the community-based Justice Center, or something like that,” Davis said. “They haven’t done home monitoring, and that is something that Judge (Howard H.) Harcha said he wanted to look at, especially since Mowery and Kegley just signed the new contract with a new company that they said reduced their cost by 75 percent.”

Davis said the question that arises is – who qualifies for that kind of treatment?

By Frank Lewis


Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.