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Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio condemns 'misguided and secretive attempt' to build new Cuyahoga County Jail in Slavic Village area

'Don't allow the kids in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods grow up in the shadow of a jail.'

CLEVELAND — *EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from a previous story.

Cuyahoga County has already made it known they plan to build a new county jail. For the moment, we still don't know where it will be built.

However, we may have gotten a clue Monday, and one prominent local organization does not appear to be pleased with the potential location.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio released a statement condemning an apparent "misguided and secretive pursuit" of a new jail site in the Slavic Village area in southeast Cleveland. The non-profit claimed such construction would negatively impact the community, particularly kids who frequent the flagship club on Broadway Avenue.

"Cleveland ranks No. 1 in the country for child poverty," the statement read, in part. "Don't allow the kids in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods grow up in the shadow of a jail. By doing so, you would be sending a terrible message."

The Cuyahoga County Jail currently resides downtown, but the facility has come under fire in recent years due to multiple investigations into poor conditions as well as several criminal convictions related to mistreatment of inmates. The proposed new corrections center would be able house 1,900 inmates, and outgoing County Executive Armond Budish is asking County Council for a sales tax extension to fund the project.

But Boys & Girls Clubs says the county failed "in spectacular fashion" to meet with community leaders about the alleged jail site and "has not sought input from the people who live and work in this neighborhood." Officials with the charity believe a new jail in Slavic Village "would set back the community in a significant way and undermine so much progress":

"The county should consider other locations in commercial and industrial districts, sites that do not impact a residential neighborhood, Some will argue that this project would create jobs. We believe what Slavic Village/North Broadway really needs is more impactful county, city and private investment, not a taxpayer-funded enticement to attract bail bondsmen and payday lenders."

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio did not specify just where in Slavic Village the jail could be built. 3News has reached out to Cuyahoga County for comment.

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