City of Cleveland Transfers Cleveland Jail and House of Corrections to Cuyahoga County

In a demonstration of cost-effective regionalization, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have announced they’ve reached an agreement for the Cuyahoga County Correction Center to assume operation of the Cleveland Jail.

Legislation was approved by Cleveland City Council June 5, 2017 and will be introduced to Cuyahoga County Council later this week. The announcement was made at a press conference June 6.

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The agreement eliminates costly duplication of services and saves money for the City of Cleveland while remaining cost neutral to Cuyahoga County. This agreement enhances quality of service to City inmates through economies of scale and extends opportunities for persons sentenced for misdemeanors to obtain reentry programming and services, such as job skill training and employment services. The agreement also increases accessibility to substance abuse, mental health and other medical services.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department has formed a nine month transition plan that includes the following changes:

  1. City of Cleveland will discontinue their jail booking, housing, and other related services.
  2. Cuyahoga County will operate the Bedford Heights jail facility in order to manage the additional jail population. The facility will house approximately 175 male inmates, and will transition the Bedford Heights jail facility into a Comprehensive Reentry Services Center, which will offer the same offender reentry services as the county’s Euclid jail facility. Services include substance abuse help, culinary arts training, and improving employment readiness.
  3. The Euclid jail facility will house female inmates and will offer Comprehensive Reentry Services to the females housed in that facility.

Benefits of the jail regionalization include:

  • Cost savings to the City of Cleveland. The city will pay $99 per day per inmate, which should save the city $4-5 million per year.
  • The change in structure will be cost neutral to county taxpayers.
  • Enhanced quality of service to city inmates through economies of scale.
  • Opportunities for people serving misdemeanors to access reentry programming services.
  • Frees up time for local law enforcement.
  • Increased accessibility to substance abuse, mental health, and other medical services due to the increased capacity at Euclid and Bedford Heights facilities.
  • Opens the same cost savings and efficiencies for all cities in the county.

This is a break-even venture for Cuyahoga County, which means the charges for these services are equal to the cost of providing them. The City of Cleveland will pay $5,603,413.98 in non-recurring startup expenses, which includes personnel, training, and inmate housing during the nine-month transition period. Modifications to the Bedford Heights jail facility are also included in the cost. The City of Cleveland is expected to save $4-5 million annually with the new agreement in place.

Timeline is as follows:

  • Bedford will open 90-120 days after contract approval.
  • Cleveland House of Corrections will close
  • Euclid will be transitioned to Female Programming facility
  • 150 days after contract approval, The Cuyahoga County Correction Center will begin receiving all Cleveland arrest & assume all operations.

The agreement must be ratified by both County and City Councils. The sale of the Justice Center is subject to County Council approval.