Portsmouth Police Frustrated With Jail
Yesterday, May 22nd, a Portsmouth Police officer clearly showed he was frustrated with the Scioto County Jail. You can listen to the radio transmission for yourself.
Jails were closed due to the Governor’s orders.
The only correctional institutions that were covered in Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s order were State Prisons. County and other local jails were instructed to “use discretion”. They were never closed by the State of Ohio.
On May 15th, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation began receiving new inmates. However, the Scioto County jail as been slower to accept new inmates.
The Court System
Locally, the Court System has also had to bear the brunt of re-opening. On Friday, the Grand Jury met for the first time in months. People were given the summons to appear and signed warrants to verify they were served. Afterward, they were assigned a date to appear in court and the paperwork was logged and registered. Now, still operating under strict social distancing and limited hours, the courts are trying to process the backlog of people who were issued a summons or warrant during the Jail’s “closing”.
If you have been following our mugshot posts, we always share the capacity of the jail. At the time of this article, there are 97 inmates housed in the Scioto County Jail. Their capacity is 190. They have remained in the 40-50% capacity range (and even as low as 35%) during this time of “discretionary” housing.
The words and tone of this frustrated Portsmouth Police officer echos the feeling of many citizens.
It prompts questions like: Why has the Scioto County Jail decided to continue with a peculiar way of accepting inmates eight days after the State released the holder on its own prisons? Why has the jail adopted a stance of “Closed for Business” when that was never the order from any State or regulatory body? If they were operating out of an abundance of caution (for the safety of officers, inmates, visitors, attorneys, medical staff, etc) why has it been acceptable for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation to resume intakes when 4,000 prisoners and more than 550 staff were diagnosed with COVID but, the Scioto County Jail, continues to operate in “shutdown mode”?
The Portsmouth Police officer, clearly, had a frustrated tone. But, the tone shows a pattern of frustration with the operation of the jail. We have seen the immense amount of calls handled by the police. Further, we have a section called “Catch and Release” to let people know that people would otherwise be jailed are released back into the community with the hope and trust they will return to face the courts. The officer stated they would deal with the issues through administrative means. We will update you on any progress (or lack of progress) as the facts bear out.