State of Ohio

Office of the Governor
77 South High Street, 30th Floor
Columbus, OH  43266-0601


For Immediate Release: January 26, 1999

(Columbus) --- Governor Bob Taft today announced the availability of $26.3 million in state capital funds for the construction and renovation of county full-service jails.

"The effects of jail crowding continue to be a problem," said Taft.  "Financial assistance programs through state and local partnerships are essential to alleviating this problem.  The State of Ohio recognizes the importance of local communities having safe, secure, and efficient jails, and we are pleased to provide assistance."

Ohio's Jail Construction Funding Program began in 1983.   Between 1983 and 1998, nearly $216 million in state bond money has been awarded to local jurisdictions for the construction or renovation of county jails, multi-county correctional centers and minimum-security misdemeanant jails and workhouses.  As a result of the partnership between state and local government, the capacity to house inmates in full service facilities statewide has increased from a daily average of 7,934 beds in 1983 to 15,631 in 1998.  The Jail Construction Program has also played a vital role in reducing the number of jail fires and inmate-generated law suits.  From 1983 to 1995, the number of pending lawsuits decreased by 38 percent, from 136 to 84, and jail fires dropped by 89 percent from 28 to 3.  In 1983, 55% of the county jails were more than 100 years old.  Today, only 13, or 15%, are more than 100 years old.

In 1996, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's (DRC) Bureau of Adult Detention became the authorized agent to designate projects for jail funding.  The Bureau's primary function is to ensure that local jails meet state minimum standards.  The Bureau also provides construction guidelines, technical assistance, training, and information to local jurisdictions.   The Bureau will be contacting the 88 counties to provide additional information regarding the application process. 

For additional information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.