Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Fourteen indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Commissioners donate to task force Voters return Worley to the bench Georgetown Police Department welcomes new officers Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber Meth makes a comeback The bomber crash of 1944 4-H holds ‘shootout’ with BCSO County jobless rate falls Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves G’town FFA has great fair Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Eight indicted by grand jury Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Body found in ditch, investigation underway Former Aberdeen Fiscal Officer pleads guilty Keeping kids safe on the school bus Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia

Sheriff seeks overcrowding solution for Adult Detention Center

GEORGETOWN – Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger and Chief Deputy Carl Smith met with the Brown County Commissioners on Jan. 4 to discuss implication of not being allotted a variance in bed space at the Brown County Jail.

As the Commissioners and Sheriff have stated, the jail is equipped to handle just 38 inmates at a given time. Any additional inmates would be have be allowed by the Department of Corrections. Wenninger told the Commissioners the Department had been in violation of this during their inspections and faced 34 violations during a previous inspection without getting into details about those violations.

But in order to handle the increased population, the County is faced with the question of where and how to deal with the increase of inmates. The Sheriff and Chief Deputy submitted the idea of a dormitory style housing unit for low-level, non-violent offenders who fit the classification for minimum security.

“There are different things we have been looking at but we are putting everything on the table to see what works best for the citizens of this county,” Smith said. “This jail is designed to hold 38 people, period. We have had more than that in here, by far. We can’t do that, it’s not safe. What we are looking at per the Ohio Revised Code, the Commissioners are able to pick any building in the county, as long as they own it, and fortify that as long as we adhere to the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, we can make it into a minimum security facility.”

Smith said the dorm style housing could be something as simple as a space with bunk beds in a gymnasium so long as it met the standards in ORC and from the DOC. Inmates are classified upon entry into the Sheriff’s Office when arrested and their classification would determine if they qualified for the dorm style housing.

“You could have fourth and fifth degree felonies (or lower) held in this type of place,” Smith said. “As long as they go through a classification process. As long as they haven’t shown violent tendency or had any problems in our jail they could become eligible for this type of housing.”

The Department said they are trying to do the best the can to house offenders in Brown County. According to the Sheriff’s Department they spend roughly $35 per day to house inmates in the Adult Detention Center. However, the Commissioners disagree with that number by citing the cost to operate does not include expenses from the jail that do not come from the budget of the Sheriff’s Office.

The Commissioners are planning a jail task force to evaluate the best course of action for Brown County.

The idea of a regional jail has been throw around by both the Commissioners and Sheriff’s Department, citing the states has monies available to build a regional jail. The Commissioners hope the task force can evaluate the best course of action from practicality as well as financially for the residents of the county.

Smith said building a new jail to serve only Brown County could help curb the need for an increase number of inmates, citing the 75 inmates housed at the Butler County Jail from Brown County on Jan 4, but the Commissioners raised concerns of how to pay for a larger jail and questioned why Butler County had so many beds available at the time if there was a need for a larger facilities statewide.

Smith, a member of the law enforcement community for over three decades, said the increased number of offenders spurn from the increased drug problem the county in facing. He said while there has always been a drug problem, it is far worse now than when he started in Brown County in 1987.

He said at that time the jail population could be around 25 to 30 inmates now it regularly exceeded 70 inmates daily in the jail. On average, 160 offenders per month made their way through the Brown County Adult Detention Center. The problem all comes back to the drug epidemic.

“There isn’t a town in Brown County you can’t buy heroin in,” Smith said. “They might have to go out of town to get it, but you can buy it here or any surrounding county.”

In June, Smith conducted his own study of the population of the county jail and noted 27 percent of all male inmates were in jail for drug related offenses only, but did not count other offenses such as burglary and robberies with a high likelihood of drug involvement. On the female side, 52 percent of the inmates were incarcerated for drug only offenses.

While the jail situation plays out and taxpayers focus on the cost on operations for the facility, the larger looming drug problem goes unsolved. While housing offenders in the immediate need, eliminating offenders reduces the need for a jail.

The Brown County Commissioners met with Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger and Chief Deputy Carl Smith to discuss solutions for overcrowding at the Brown County Adult Detention Center.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_IMG_99273.jpgThe Brown County Commissioners met with Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger and Chief Deputy Carl Smith to discuss solutions for overcrowding at the Brown County Adult Detention Center. Brian Durham | Civitas Media

By Brian Durham

bdurham@civitasmedia.com

Reach Brian Durham at 937-378-6161 or on Twitter @brianD1738.

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2016 News Democrat