ASHLAND — The Ashland County Jail has asked its law enforcement partners throughout the county to re-evaluate whether offenders should be jailed in order to “allow the population to go down,” said Ashland County Sheriff’s chief deputy David Blake.
Blake said the jail’s population got a little crowded last week.
To curb that, Blake said the jail requested police officers, deputies, the prosecutor’s office and the courts to re-evaluate whether a summons could be issued instead so those offenders could be picked up for jail at a later date.
“We haven’t refused anyone,” Blake said, refuting a rumor circulating around town that the jail is refusing new inmates if they are considered “non-violent” offenders. “If it’s serious, we bring them to jail.”
Lieutenant Tarah Reed said determining whether inmates are violent or non-violent is not a way they determine whether someone ends up in jail.
“It’s more of whether they are a threat to the community,” she said.
Today’s jail population is 117, Blake said. The max is 150, but the jail starts to feel overcrowded at 120.
“At about 120, the flex of moving inmates around in jail becomes limited. We have some dorm cells, and others are just cells. When we don’t have the ability to move them, it really tightens our hands on where you can put them,” he said.
The jail is not short-staffed, Blake said.
“We are fully staffed at 36, counting the lieutenant,” he said.