Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is keeping a close eye on the Cuyahoga County jail system and the problems it’s had with inmate deaths and use of force, but adds that fixing those problems might require looking at the bigger picture.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is ramping up its jail inspection team by adding more inspectors, including a registered nurse.
DeWine says it’s important to focus on fixing immediate issues with jails such as with Cuyahoga County. But he adds that the makeup of county inmates is changing.
“Our criminal justice system is not really designed to deal with people who have mental health problems, really isn’t designed to help people with substance abuse problems. So we are grappling with this. We’ve made some changes, but we have a long way to go,” says DeWine.
He also says the state needs to find ways to improve jails for the rising female population.