Corrections Board Meeting Invitation

Corrections Board Meeting Invitation

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jan. 24, 2022 — The Wayne County Community Corrections Board would like to invite you to join us for the presentation of the Wayne County Community Corrections Strategic Plan community session scheduled as follows:

DATE: Tuesday, January 25, 2022
TIME: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Church Grace, 4599 Burbank Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691
(Northwest side – Free Parking)

Masks and sanitizer will be provided to use, as desired. This event is sponsored by the Wayne County Community Corrections Board and is open to all community members. The Strategic Plan identifies long-term strategic goals and objectives designed to improve the Wayne County criminal justice system and create a safer community. Prior to this community session, Leadership Group members and two consultants met monthly for the past year to develop the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was presented and approved by the Wayne County Community Correction Board on December 6, 2021.

Please register as soon as possible, by emailing Capt. Jammie Richards,

When responding please include the following: First and last name, email address, phone number, and Agency, if you are with an agency.

If you have questions, please direct those to Capt. Richards as, well. We hope you will be able to join us at this event. Your attendance will help to make this a successful effort. Also, if there is anyone you know who you think would want to be involved with this, please pass this information along to them.

Leadership Group Members

Jammie Richards, Sheriff’s Office
Elsie Day, Consultant
Eric Jefferis, Kent State University
Ron Amstutz, County Commissioners
Timothy Vansickle, Municipal Court Judge
Judy Wood, Mental Health and Recovery Board
Jessica Orr, Mental Health and Recovery Board
Michelle Kelly, Anazao
Piper Davidson, One-Eighty
Cheryl Thomas, One-Eighty
Diane Derue, Counseling Center
Cheryl Gerwig, Common Pleas Probation
Cindy Kuhl, Common Pleas Probation
Dan Lutz, Prosecutor’s Office
Rodney Baca, Public Defender’s Office
Matthew Birkbeck, Orrville Police DepartmentKevan Franklin Faith Community
Susan Figge, Behind Bars and Beyond
Tyler Reber, Community Member

Commissioners Address Jail Concerns

Commissioners Address Jail Concerns

The following topic will be considered at the Wayne County Commissioners’ weekly session on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 2 p.m. in the meeting room on the second floor of the Administration Building. A link to register to view the meeting virtually is available HERE.

Documents available for download:

Strollo Analysis

Administrator Recommendation

Invitation to Jan. 25 Meeting


Wayne County Commissioners address jail location concerns

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jan. 14, 2022 — During a recent public meeting about the jail renovation project, Wooster City officials and Main Street Wooster representatives expressed concern about the current location of the jail and Sheriff’s Office located at 201 W. North St., Wooster.

As this was not the first time this concern was voiced, the Wayne County Commissioners sought an analysis of the financial and other factors involved in such a move.

They enlisted Youngstown-based Strollo Architects, LLC. to develop comparable estimates for renovating and expanding the current site and building an equivalent jail at a new location outside City of Wooster boundaries.

The comparison assumes the same inmate numbers, style, and retention needs identified in the proposed 248-bed model the county submitted a grant application for jail construction funding provided in current State of Ohio capital improvement appropriations, enacted in December of 2020.

That grant request was based on:

  • 214 licensed beds, including 48 high-security isolation cells
  • 34 medical isolation cells

According to the architect, the construction cost for renovating the current jail and expanding it with 27,000 square feet of new construction is estimated at $30.2 million. Building a new facility on a remote site is estimated to cost $47 million.

This is $16.8 million more than remaining at the current site on the edge of downtown, a 55% higher cost.

There are additional operational considerations beyond the cost of construction to consider. These factors were developed in cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office and outlined in a letter presented by County Administrator Patrick Herron in the Commissioner’s voting session on January 12.

Transport factors: Transportation costs are a significant consideration, should the jail be remote to downtown courts and other services. In 2020, there were 241 inmate transports to Municipal Court, and 399 inmate transports to Common Pleas Court, according to the Sheriff’s Office. This lower number is used as the baseline because it is anticipated that there will be continued use of video appearances when possible as procedures changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The jail is connected to the municipal court building, so these transports occur indoors in a secure environment. While some have suggested all visits should be virtual, a person still has a right to appear at their trial. While in-person court appearances have been significantly reduced, they cannot be eliminated.

A remote jail would introduce a vehicle and two deputies for transport, impacting costs and the availability of city and village law enforcement resources. These resources would be tied up during transport to court, waiting for the court proceeding, and returning to jail. Currently, municipal court movements within the justice center are provided by the Sheriff’s Office.

Safety risks are heightened during vehicular transports. Examples of added risks include:

  • Vehicular accidents that could lead to escape
  • Public interaction that could lead to escape
  • Acquiring a weapon or other contraband

Other factors: Many rehabilitation services are provided within the jail, and geography is a factor, along with the relative efficiencies of accessing them upon release, depending on jail location.

The analysis points out the public safety value of having a law enforcement station in the downtown area with associated cruiser traffic. It also points out the county jail has been located somewhere in the downtown area of the county seat since the early 1800s. Further, the former jail has been renovated and operates as a restaurant across the street from the justice center. Upscale residential construction is being built on speculation across the street.

There is also a significant possibility that efforts to identify another site for the jail would generate opposition from residents in the new area, as recently was experienced when development was proposed near the current Wooster City Schools high school.

Commissioners are actively reviewing this analysis to decide how design and financing plans can move forward. They have the duty of providing facilities for county government services.

Wayne County Justice Center

Stepping Up Ohio Meeting

Stepping Up Ohio Meeting

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jan. 10, 2022 — The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties presents Stepping Up Ohio Countywide Meeting, taking place virtually on January 11, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and featuring presentations on mental illness and the criminal justice population.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties is proud to bring the Stepping Up Ohio team to Wayne County for a follow-up visit. The meeting will provide updates on the work Wayne County has done since becoming a Stepping Up county and be a chance for state partners to share information about resources available to Wayne County.

Stepping Up Ohio, a chapter of the national Stepping Up initiative is a statewide effort to break the cycle of jail being the de facto mental health hospital. The mission of both the national and Ohio’s Stepping Up initiative is to help criminal offenders with mental illness get connected to clinical treatment and other services so they can get well, make positive life changes, and stay out of jail. An estimated 30% of Ohio’s inmates have a mental illness, and anywhere from two to three times more taxpayer money is spent on incarcerated adults with mental illness who require intervention. Without access to proper treatment and stabilization services, people with mental illness can return to incarceration again and again.

Stepping Up Ohio assists counties in unifying existing community supports for people with mental illness as well as connecting them to new or previously untapped free state and national resources. The Stepping Up Ohio team will convene a cross-section of local stakeholders, including behavioral health treatment providers; law enforcement; specialty court dockets; and housing, veteran, and other support services providers. State partners will co-present with local leaders on topics such as:

  • Probation programs
  • Mental Health and Drug courts
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) initiatives and funding
  • Veteran services and veteran treatment courts
  • Housing
  • Crisis Continuum of Care
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)
  • NeoMed Criminal Justice Center of Excellence programs
  • Assisted Outpatient Treatment

The meeting is free and open to the public. Contact Sue Zarlengo at  for registration information. For more information about Stepping Up Ohio, visit or email Melissa Knopp at . To learn more about the Stepping Up initiative in this community, contact Judy Wortham Wood at

Directed by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (retired) and Project Manager Melissa Knopp, Esq., along with other state and county leaders, Stepping Up Ohio is supported by the CSG Justice Center and is generously funded by Peg’s Foundation.