Cuyahoga County Jail

Updated: 9:32 a.m., Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cuyahoga County will hire a corrections expert to examine county jail conditions in what could be a step toward settling a lawsuit brought by inmates.

County council on Tuesday approved the hiring of Martin Horn, a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Horn also served as commissioner of New York City’s jail system and probation department under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The ACLU of Ohio is collecting complaints from inmates in Ohio through a new hotline and the organization is already pressing the state to play more of a role overseeing county and municipal jails through the coronavirus outbreak.

A Cuyahoga County corrections officer accused of assaulting and unlawfully restraining an inmate pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the incident, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Idris-Farid Clark pleaded guilty to attempted assault and extortion, both third-degree felonies, as well as unlawful restraint. Clark was accused of pepper spraying Cuyahoga County Jail inmate Chantelle Glass in the face while she was restrained in a chair in 2018.

Cuyahoga County may make it easier for employees to report whistleblower complaints within county government.

County council gave a first reading to revised reporting safeguards Monday evening.

Councilman Dale Miller, a Democrat who introduced the measure, said it grew out of talks with county Inspector General Mark Griffin. The changes are intended to give potential whistleblowers more comfort in coming forward with complaints, Miller said.

The number of people housed in the Cuyahoga County Jail continues to go down as improvements to the bail system across the county are implemented, according to members of the Criminal Justice Council.

But advocates for bail reform and improved jail conditions say there’s still work to be done.

Updated: 4:27 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019

Attorneys representing the estate of a man who was found hanging in his cell at the Cuyahoga County Jail last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county Thursday.

Drug companies may try to turn the tables on Cuyahoga County in the coming federal opioid trial, presenting evidence on the troubled the county jail and in the department of children and family services in an effort to minimize the role of their drugs in local problems.

With jury selection scheduled to begin next week and opening statements set for Oct. 21, attorneys for both sides are disputing which evidence and witnesses should be presented at trial.

Updated: 4:40 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25

Two Cuyahoga County corrections officers were found not guilty on three out of five charges in the alleged beating of an inmate at the county jail.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two of the charges against John Wilson: felonious assault and interfering with civil rights.

Cuyahoga County is facing yet another lawsuit because of the county jail with an inmate alleging he was the victim of retaliation for speaking with U.S. Marshals, including threats against his life.

Ashlie Case Sletvold of the Chandra Law Firm is representing Corrionne Lawrence in a lawsuit alleging several instances of abuse last fall.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney told county council members he had little say in major decisions at the county jail as the inmate population rose, deaths mounted and investigators launched probes into conditions there.

Weeks from retirement, Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney arrived at a council hearing with his personal attorney and refused to answer almost any questions about the county jail system.

Cuyahoga County Jail in Cleveland.
Nick Castele / Ideastream

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is keeping a close eye on the Cuyahoga County Jail system and the problems it’s had with inmate deaths and use of force. But he adds that fixing those problems might require looking at the bigger picture.

Advocates for reforms at the Cuyahoga County Jail are trying to keep the pressure on county leaders, seven months after a U.S. Marshals Service report called conditions at the facility “inhumane.”

A coalition of activist groups rallied outside the Justice Center on Monday morning before packing a justice reform meeting chaired by the county executive and presiding common pleas judge.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is ordering the state to conduct monthly inspections of the Cuyahoga County Jail, threatening "additional legal action" if conditions at the facility don't improve.

The governor's office has also asked the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to more than double the staff of the bureau that conducts jail inspections, according to a Thursday news release.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted the former warden of the troubled Cuyahoga County Jail and two corrections officers, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office announced Thursday.

Prosecutors accused former warden Eric J. Ivey of ordering an officer to turn off his body camera during an incident involving the death of an inmate. Yost’s office accused Ivey of lying to investigators about the incident.