Consultant presents suggestions for Struthers jail at council meeting

Bob Pace said the vents aren't properly covered and there is a lack of jail training, preventing it from meeting 12-day facility requirements

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STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A jail consultant hired by the city of Struthers presented his suggestions Wednesday to council for improvements at the city’s jail.

The Struthers jail is currently a 12-day holding facility. After his five-week analysis, Robert Pace said the jail is best suited as a short-term holding facility but would need some upgrades.

He’s been analyzing the city jail since March, and said it is not meeting the federal standards for a 12-day facility.

Pace said the vents aren’t properly covered and there is a lack of worker training.The Struthers jail consultant met with city council to discuss suggestions for improvement.

If the city wanted to continue as a 12-day facility, Pace said it would take $70,000 in improvements to meet minimum standards. Workers would also need training, a cost that is not included in the $70,000 estimate.

Another lower cost option would be to make the jail a 12-hour holding facility. Upgrades for that option would cost about $30,000.

The city could also decided to just hold inmates at the jail for a few hours prior to court appearances.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene is willing to talk with city leaders about collaborating with the jail, he said when asked about the proposal on Thursday. Those arrested would be booked and processed at the Mahoning County Jail, and they would only be in the Struthers jail while waiting for the arraignment.

“It would simply be a matter of us just housing their inmates, which we really house most of them anyways already so it wouldn’t be any type of burden on their city,” Greene said.

Pace also suggested that the city hire a bailiff to monitor those inside the jail.

Pace wants to meet with city council and go over his 35-page report line by line and come up with an official plan.

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