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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2004

Jail seeking grant to ease crowding

STRYKER, Ohio - The Corrections Commission of Northwest Ohio, which operates the regional jail on behalf of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, and Williams counties and the city of Toledo, said yesterday it will seek additional funding for its electronic monitoring program.

The board agreed to apply for a $158,163 grant from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to fund an expansion of its monitoring program.

The grant would pay the cost of monitoring 525 additional offenders.

The board agreed to create a fund that would collect fees and other costs from participants. Proceeds from that fund would be used to offset the regional jail s costs.

Electronic monitoring is used to ease chronic overcrowding at the facility, which has an average daily population of 579 inmates, or 90 percent of its capacity.

Last year, there were three overcrowding emergencies that required the jail to temporarily stop accepting new inmates from certain jurisdictions.

The board has recommended against exceeding the 90 percent level, a percentage that was reached again yesterday, said Jim Dennis, executive director of the facility.

January s population was 566, or 88 percent.

Electronic monitoring averaged between 75 and 85 a day last year, and the number is projected to grow to 120 daily this year, Mr. Dennis said.

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