Lucas County judge talks releasing inmates from CCNO

Lucas County judge talks releasing inmates from CCNO

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - A new inmate-limit at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio (CCNO) will be strictly enforced, starting Thursday. That means judges across Lucas County have to decide who stays in jail and who gets released.

For example, Toledo Municipal Court has a 150-person limit. Judge Tim Kuhlman says between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday, judges sentenced 12 people to CCNO, putting them over their 150 limit by nine people.

Come Thursday, Judge Kuhlman says that officially can't happen.

"The one-hundred and fifty-first person won't be put on the bus to go to CCNO," said Kuhlman. "So we have to, in real-time, manage that."

Judge Kuhlman says that means judges will be responsible for deciding who can be released from CCNO so others can go in. He says risk-assessments will be conducted on inmates already at or entering CCNO, with people of low-risk recommended for release.

But judges can release people of medium or high risk, as they take other factors into consideration as well.

"Many times we will release people who have not yet completed their sentence, but completed most of their sentence," said Kuhlman. "Perhaps we release people because they've completed programming at CCNO, and we believe we can safely release them so there, so long as they're on probation to continue their programming. Those might be very high-risk people, but because of the experience of our probation officers and the programming already completed, we may feel comfortable releasing that high-risk person."

Kuhlman says this is a risk judges have always managed, and although the number of inmates is lower, the number of resources outside of jail, like GPS monitoring, is now higher.

"The public should be confident in our ability to continue to hold defendants accountable and keep the public safe," said Judge Kuhlman.

This change comes as part of a partnership between Lucas County commissioners and the MacArthur Foundation to reduce overpopulation in jails. 

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