Cuyahoga County Jail | WOSU Radio

Cuyahoga County Jail

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.

Nick Castele / ideastream

A special grand jury indicted five Cuyahoga County corrections officers Monday on civil rights and other charges. Attorney General Dave Yost’s office accuses the guards of mistreating jail inmates.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction found the Cuyahoga County jail in compliance with 51 state standards and in violation of 84 of them.

The state’s report comes nearly three months after the U.S. Marshal’s Service released its report, dated November 21, calling conditions at the jail “inhumane.”

The marshals conducted their review from October 30 to November 1, 2018. The state inspected the jail days later on November 6.

State and federal law enforcement raided Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s office Thursday afternoon, a move that Budish denounced as “without justification.” 

About nine agents from the FBI and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrived before noon and spent several hours in the county headquarters building, leaving just before 4 p.m., county spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said.

They left with five boxes, an envelope of equipment and two hard drives, one of which belonged to Budish, Madigan said.

Three months after a report detailing problems at the Cuyahoga County Jail, the U.S. Marshals Service says it has not returned its detainees to the downtown jail.

In November, the U.S. Marshal’s office in Washington released a report on the county jail system that described a long list of what it called “inhumane” conditions.

U.S. Marshal Peter Elliot, head of the Cleveland office, stopped bringing detainees to the jail downtown.

Following the weekend death of an inmate at the Cuyahoga County jail, county council president Dan Brady pledged to continue to shape plans to improve conditions there.

"We have been working for over a year to try to provide better health services to the jail system, and we'll continue to do that," Brady said. "We have a strong consensus on the council for that."

A U.S. Marshals probe of the Cuyahoga County jail uncovered conditions so severe that they put the safety of staff and inmates at risk, according to a report released Wednesday morning.

Among the Marshals’ findings were that the jail used food as a form of punishment, that meals failed to meet nutritional standards, that inmates received inadequate medical care and that defendants awaiting court were placed in cells without working toilets or running water.

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