When Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy hosted a listening session in Chillicothe recently, the Ross County Sheriff listed his needs. Our Kevin Coleman asked him more about that.
Sheriff George Lavender explained that he is forced to find housing for an excess of prisoners. He said that's because state prisons are not taking many 4th and 5th degree felony convictions, and also because there are so many addiction and mental health arrests.
He said the those with mental heath issues need treatment, not holding in the jail...which they don't even understand why they are there.
Lavender also said the Law Enforcement Center been under work for five years just to repair it, not to add more jail space - though they did add a few beds in the infirmary.
He says he's also concerned about fewer people coming into law enforcement, with threats of defunding agencies, and indictment of officers for enforcement. He said it used to be used to be they you were not able to get a job in law enforcement. Now, they are begging for applicants.
Lavender said he was glad to talk to Justice Kennedy since she was a police officer herself at the start of her career.
Kevin Coleman covers local government and culture