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State Inspectors: Cuyahoga County Jail still failing sanitation and medical standard

Posted: 4:55 PM, Jul 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-30 16:49:13-04
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CLEVELAND — After months under the microscope, the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center is still not providing adequate medical care to inmates, according to state inspectors.

On July 3, state officials conducted an on-site inspection at the jail. According to a memo obtained by 5 On Your Side Investigators, the jail was “not adequately evaluating and tracking inmates who required care,” “not adequately maintaining a continuity of care for inmates returning to the hospital,” and “not adequately tracking inmates who require intox/detox protocols.”

The importance of medical care behind bars became a focal point after nine inmates died in the last 13 months.

In the inspection memo, John Adams, who supervises jail inspections for the state, said part of the problem with medical care at the jail was due to the way the contract was structured between the jail, the county, and MetroHealth, which provides inmate care.

“The contract requires CCCC to work through the County Executive, which adds additional hurdles to ensure MetroHealth is delivering promised services to CCCC,” wrote Adams.

The inspection team also reported that sanitation was still a problem at the jail, stating: “there were areas of the jail that showed improvement, but there were other areas that were still unclean.”

Eight months after issues of so-called “Red Zoning” were cited in the damning U.S. Marshal’s report on jail conditions, the practice of locking down inmates in their cells due to staffing shortages continues.

The inspectors said jail officials were making progress in its attempt to hire additional staff, “but while we were encouraged by these efforts some concerns were raised about delays and inefficiencies during the hiring process.”

The inspectors identified the following areas for improvement:

  • Continue to work on corrective action plan
  • Increase staffing level
  • Improve the sanitation level of all areas of the jail
  • Increase training to staff
  • Implement a contract monitoring process for the medical/mental health contract with MetroHealth

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