Bar association hears proposal on North Toledo jail

Bar association hears proposal on North Toledo jail

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Lucas County Bar Association held a private meeting on Monday to discuss the proposed jail in North Toledo.

County Commissioner Pete Gerken introduced April Pottorff, a specialist in juvenile and adult design of courthouses, to the room full of attorneys invested in the planning process of a new jail.

Pottorff laid out in detail the pros and cons of each county-owned property in Downtown Toledo, and came to the conclusion that a new jail downtown would mean an additional $20 million to $30 million.

Attorneys and former judges had varying viewpoints but agreed change was necessary.

"The new location, if done correctly, with technology how it is, with video conferencing technology and video arraignments, it saves a lot of money and a lot of resources," said Lee Johnson, an attorney in Sylvania.

"As a former judge, I get that ... that a lot of times video is very convenient, but you like to be in the same room as the person that you're evaluating their credibility. So you can only use that at a limited extent," said Gary Byers, a former judge running for the empty commissioner seat.

Commissioner Gerken said that they are in the pre-planning phase, talking to all of the stakeholders in the criminal justice system.

This summer, they will continue to formulate a plan to present to the community in late summer or early fall.

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