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New Cuyahoga jail reports indicate more issues and improvement efforts

Posted at 10:16 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 08:57:00-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones released new information on Cuyahoga County jail conditions from an unnamed jail investigator that indicate even more problems at the embattled jail.

Jones said his source outlined corrections officers working housing pods where one corrections officer is monitoring up to 96 inmates with forced overtime and requests for medical care that were allegedly delayed, ignored or deleted from the case tracking system, without inmates receiving care, due to a lack of sufficient staffing assigned to the medical center.

Jones said his source indicated complaints filed by the public, staff, and inmates to the Bureau of Adult Detention were not actually investigated. Jones said his source explained the jail is allowed to review the complaint then send a written response to state Investigators that the complaints are unfounded.

Jones said his source also outlined a fundamental failure of jail leadership, management and oversight.

“I appreciate the fact that this person leaked this information to me and that they know I just can’t sit on it,” Jones said.

“It’s crystal clear with the hundreds of letters that I have in my office that these inhumane condition have not been fixed.”

News 5 contacted Cuyahoga County leadership, which did not refute the so called "leaked information" and said jail management is already in the process of making improvements.

In response to our story, the county sent News 5 a preliminary report from the American Correctional Association, outlining what it called ongoing sweeping reforms at the jail.

The ACA report included 56 separate titles and covered recommended jail improvements in more than two dozen areas, including inmate discipline procedures, staffing levels, and food service.

The report also outlined needed repairs, or security improvements, at more than four dozen doorways within the jail.

Cuyahoga County Spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan told News 5 the ACA report makes it clear the county is making significant improvements at the jail.

Still, Cleveland NAACP President, Danielle Sydnor, told News 5 the county needs to have a greater sense of urgency in making the badly needed changes.

“Its frustration, it’s anger, it’s a distrust in the system that continues to perpetuate these issues," Sydnor said.

“Continuing to say we’re investigating, we’re looking into, we’re considering recommendations, we’re beyond that point and we need to begin seeing action."

The entire preliminary ACA Cuyahoga County jail report can be found here.

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