Hancock County Issue 4 voted down by wide margin

Hancock County Issue 4 voted down by wide margin

HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Voters in Hancock County voted down an issue that was meant to expand the county's jail.

Issue 4 was a proposed 20-year one-quarter percent sales tax for the county, but last night, 74 percent of Hancock County voters turned down the issue.

The county wanted to use the funds to update the dated Juvenile and Probate courts. More importantly, county leaders wanted to expand the Hancock County Justice Center.

Currently the jail is supposed to house 96 inmates, meaning the county has to board 20 to 40 additional inmates in other county jails at the county's expense.

The recommendation was to add 156 more beds to the Justice Center.

The county will need to restart the process of tackling the jail overcrowding, as officials worry it poses a safety threat to residents.

"It's very evident that we have a lot of felons being released," Hancock County commissioner Brian Robertson said. "And we're playing a little game of Russian roulette regularly with our courts where these individuals are released on their own recognizance, and they're accused felons. And sooner or later they're going to perpetrate a crime."

Commissioner Robertson hopes the Issue 4 discussion can continue with more constructive dialog on the future of the Hancock County Justice Center.

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