MEDINA — The number of women incarcerated at the Medina County Jail is rising, due to the opioid epidemic, a sheriff’s captain said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Kenneth Baca said the population in the jail pod for women climbed to 73 Saturday and the section’s capacity is 54.
“We’re not the only ones experiencing it,” Baca said. “It’s a common thread around state. A lot of it has to do with the opioid epidemic.
“It has tremendous impact on lot of things, not just our jail. It impacts the courts and medical profession.”
Baca said Tuesday the sheriff’s office has “an emergency plan for overcrowding, and we executed it.”
He said some of the female inmates were moved to a classroom at about 5 p.m. Saturday.
The sheriff’s court liaison officer, Sgt. Don Boone, also reached out to judges about reducing the population.
“A judge re-evaluates what the inmates are in here for,” Baca said, and some inmates were released over the weekend.
Other inmates were released Monday as scheduled, which brought the population back to a workable number, he said.
Baca said when the jail opened in 1997, he was the administrator. He said 20 years ago, the Medina County Jail was taking other counties inmates, which brought in revenue. That’s no longer possible.
At Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting, county Administrator Scott Miller said he spoke with Sheriff Tom Miller on Saturday about the overpopulation problem.
Scott Miller said he worked out a plan, which ended up not being needed, to transport some of the female inmates to Geauga County, which would have cost $50 per person in addition to transportation costs.
“At some point in time, we might have to house them (elsewhere),” he said.
Commissioner Adam Friedrick said he’s astonished inmate numbers keep growing.
“It’s another indication how heroin is killing us,” he said.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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