YOUNGSTOWN Group recommends housing up to 200 federal prisoners



The group said one full jail tower is needed for violent felons.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Using both the Mahoning County Justice Center and the minimum security jail, the Criminal Justice Working Group has proposed housing up to 200 inmates detained by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Criminal Justice Working Group filed its final report Monday with U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr.
The Criminal Justice Working Group concluded that a portion of the total bed space available needs to be allocated to the housing of federal prisoners to generate additional revenues to the county and sheriff's department. The additional revenue is needed to expand the operation of the justice center and the jail, the group said.
Under the group's proposal, up to 200 federal inmates detained by the U.S. Marshals Service would be housed at the Justice Center, and remaining beds would be allocated to inmates sentenced from county, county area and municipal courts.
The group determined one jail tower -- 296 beds -- is needed to ensure space for violent felons awaiting local trials.
Earlier report
The group previously reported that housing at least 150 federal inmates at roughly $68 per day should generate enough revenue to fully staff the jail and the closed 96-bed misdemeanor jail on Commerce Street.
Regarding the allocation of jail beds, the group stated that with 150 beds for federal inmates, roughly 444 beds would remain for inmates from common pleas, county area and municipal courts.
Proposed allocations include 296 beds for common pleas and domestic violence inmates, and 148 beds for inmates from lower courts. Of the 148 beds for the lower courts, 96 would be for Youngstown Municipal Court, 45 for Mahoning County Area Courts and seven for Campbell and Struthers combined.
The group noted in the report that the courts had requested bed allocations as follows: Youngstown, 150; Mahoning County Area Courts, 67; and Campbell-Struthers, 20.
Working group members are trying to resolve problems that affect law enforcement, the prosecutor's office, the courts and the jail.
Jail population was limited after inmates won a federal lawsuit last year, and Judge Dowd declared the overcrowded, understaffed jail to be unconstitutional. Special Master Atty. Vincent M. Nathan of Toledo was appointed by Judge Dowd to oversee the Mahoning County Jail.

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