The Coshocton County Beacon November 4, 2021 - Page 6

6 • The Beacon November 4 , 2021

Coshocton receives grant to help with justice center

Josie Sellers
Ohio Gov . Mike DeWine visited Coshocton to announce the county will receive a little more than $ 10 million in funding for its new jail . The funding was allocated for local jail grants as part of Senate Bill 310 ( R-Matt Dolan ), which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by DeWine in December 2020 .
Ohio Gov . Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction director Annette Chambers-Smith announced the state is awarding six local jails with millions in funding to rebuild or expand their facilities .
A total of $ 50 million was allocated to support local jail renovations in Senate Bill 310 , which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by DeWine in December 2020 . The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction ’ s Bureau of Adult Detention administered the application process and selected jails based on those with the greatest need for construction and renovation work to improve conditions and operations . The ability of each jail to serve neighboring jurisdictions also was considered .
A total of 51 counties applied for the grants . The following received grants to assist in building new jails due to the age and condition of their current county jail facilities : Coshocton County , $ 10.1 million ; Gallia County , $ 5.5 million ; Harrison County , $ 9.1 million ; and Lawrence County , $ 16.8 million . Two multicounty jails are receiving funding to expand their facilities to better serve neighboring counties : Scioto County Jail , $ 1.5 million , and Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail , $ 1.9 million .
“ Upgrading these jails is about more than just safety ; it ’ s also about providing an environment that can influence positive change ,” DeWine said . “ These jails have fallen into such disrepair because the counties simply couldn ’ t afford the cost to rebuild on their own . With this help from the state , the improved
Josie Sellers
Coshocton County Sheriff James Crawford was excited and thankful to hear Coshocton County was receiving grant funding for a new justice center . county jails will better meet the demands of our modern criminal justice system and better address inmates ’ underlying issues that may be causing criminal behavior such as mental health or substance-use concerns .”
DeWine delivered the news in person to Coshocton County officials on Oct . 29 , during a press conference held at the court square .
“ I ’ m honored to be here as your governor to announce that Coshocton County is getting this award ,” DeWine said .
Coshocton County Sheriff James Crawford was excited and thankful . “ This is huge news for Coshocton County ,” he said . “ This brings us one step closer to setting the pace for our future and providing accountability for our county . A lot of folks put in a lot of hours and time to make this happen .”
Chambers-Smith said there was a lot more need than money , but they are happy to see the money going where it is most needed .
“ These capital construction and improvement projects will enhance the operations of each of these jails , providing greater service to several counties throughout Ohio ,” she said . “ Many of these counties are part of Ohio ’ s Appalachian Region , and overall investment in this region continues to be a priority of the DeWine- Husted administration .”
Kevin Miller , 72nd District Ohio House representative , thanked Coshocton County ’ s leaders for helping make this announcement possible .
“ What you have here is a bunch of strong leaders working to advance Coshocton County ,” he said . “ Folks like this make my job easy . I appreciate everything
everybody has done to make this a reality .”
Crawford agreed . “ We all work together ,” he said . “ It takes a community to make us grow . With the community ’ s continued cooperation , we will get to where we need to go .”
Coshocton County commissioner Dane Shryock said the commissioners are tasked with running the county as a business , and the justice center is the county ’ s biggest issue and liability .
“ It has the capability to break us as a community ,” he said . “ This award lifts a huge burden off of the residents of the county .”
The ODRC will direct the remaining $ 5 million in capital funding to address smaller-scale safety issues at other jails in Ohio . ODRC ’ s Bureau of Adult Detention will work with county and local jails to identify issues that need to be addressed .
The Buckeye State Sheriffs ’ Association and County Commissioners Association of Ohio assisted ODRC with the development of the grant application .
Editor ’ s note : Beacon editor Josie Sellers contributed to this story .

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