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Jail Crowding in Focus: A Snapshot of Ohio's County Jail Population

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1989
This 1988 survey was conducted to provide a comprehensive inventory of inmates in Ohio county jails and to assess the extent of jail overcrowding.

Sheriffs in 85 of Ohio's 88 counties participated in the survey. Questionnaire results revealed that the average county jail held 104 inmates during the survey period and exceeded the recommended jail capacity by 25 percent. Two-thirds of the counties operated jails that were crowded under State standards. About 24 counties had jails with populations that also exceeded the designed capacity of the facilities. About 41 percent of responding sheriffs said they controlled their jail populations by maintaining lists of convicted misdemeanants who were admitted to jail on a space-available basis. Nearly 25 percent of respondents said their jails operated under court orders or consent decrees. Slightly more than half the inmates in county jails were not convicted of the crime for which they were held. Alleged felons who were not released on bail constituted 42 percent of the county jail population. About one-third of the inmates were sentenced misdemeanants, half of the misdemeanants were convicted of drunk driving, and 90 percent of all inmates were male. Only about 10 percent of the sheriffs said judges in their counties sentenced offenders to house arrest in lieu of incarceration, and about two-thirds said their jails had work release programs. Recommendations to reduce jail overcrowding are offered. The jail survey form and footnotes on inmate totals are appended. 8 figures

Date Published: June 1, 1989