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Government & Politics

Summit County Council 'Sympathetic' to Jail Task Force Proposal

photo of Summit County Councilman David Hamilton

Summit County Council will consider a proposal today to form a task force examining how to improve conditions in the county jail, a month after an inmate died while in custody.

Councilman David Hamilton says the task force is partly a response to the death of Anthony Jones following an altercation with deputies, as well as complaints he’s heard for months about overcrowding at the jail.

Hamilton says he’s gotten input on the idea from Summit County officials and from the public, and the first order of business would be to find out exactly how the jail works, “from an operational standpoint [and] a financial standpoint. And then we’ll go from there with working with the sheriff’s office to make suggestions or to come up with ideas that will alleviate some of these issues.

“Use-of-force protocol, improving inmate services as far as recreation and things like that. Looking at population control [and] how to improve these things. So those are the big things and there’s a lot of small things as well.”

The Summit County Sheriff’s office did not respond to a request for comment, but Hamilton says he crafted the proposal after speaking with representatives from the prosecutor’s, sheriff’s and county executive’s offices, as well as gathering public input. He hopes to have the task force in-place by December, if approved.

He adds that his fellow council members are sympathetic to his proposal, and he’s confident it will pass.