Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is targeting the troubled Cuyahoga County Jail as part of his plan to make changes to how the state inspects its correctional facilities.
On Thursday, DeWine ordered the Ohio Bureau of Adult Detention to conduct regular compliance monitoring at the Cuyahoga County Jail at least every 30 days.
After an inspection earlier this month, the Cuyahoga County Jail was found to be non-compliant in 66 of the state's 135 standards. DeWine says he will consider taking legal action if the jail fails to make significant improvements.
The emphasis on reforming the state's jail system, particularly in Cuyahoga County, comes as 9 inmates have died at the facility since the beginning of 2018.
In addition, surveillance video has surfaced in recent days that appears to have shown the following at the Cuyahoga County Jail:
- Two corrections officers repeatedly punching an inmate who is restrained in March, 2018.
- Corrections officers pepper-spraying inmate Chantelle Glass while she was restrained.
- Inmate Joseph Arquillo collapsed from an overdose at the jail, only to be ignored for more than two hours. He later died.
In 2018, the bureau rated 44 of 88 full-service jails across the state of Ohio as non-compliant, including the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center, which was non-compliant in 84 of 135 standards.
To help expand the state's inspection process, DeWine requested that the size of the Ohio Bureau of Adult Detention be increased from six to 15 employees. The new staff will also include a registered nurse to investigate medical complaints and examine jail standards related to proper medical care.
DeWine is also calling on the state to develop legislation to allow for unannounced inspections of local jails. Currently, on-site inspections by the Ohio Bureau of Adult Detention must be scheduled in advance.