Budget Cuts to Law Enforcement Felt in SE Ohio

by Mark Bullion on March 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

     With Governor Kasich making drastic cuts across the state trying to fix a nearly 8-billion dollar deficit, the pain is being felt in some law enforcement agencies here in Southeast Ohio. Click the video link on the left to view Mark Bullion’s full story.

The Licking Muskingum Correctional Center in Newark is expected to close come summer this year. And this poses a concern among many like where the current inmates will go.

"There are other facilities that we can use," said Mark Fleegle, Muskingum County Common Pleas Court Judge.

Seventeen in fact throughout the state from Wintersville to Nelsonville and even as far as Dayton. But then comes another problem.

"Travel to and from Dayton is not that easy," said Fleegle.

"If a judge is going to transfer them to another facility, then it’s probably going to be put back on us to get them there so we will definitely see an increase in that part of it," said Matt Lutz, Muskingum County Sheriff.

And that means money; money the Sheriff’s Office has to budget for.

"One of the big things for us is the cost of fuel and man power it will take to take these prisoners farther away," said Lutz.

The Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office Work Release facility is also one of the buildings expected to close within the coming months, so where will those inmates be housed?

"They will be brought down to the jail here on 4th street and will fill in all the spots we have open right now," said Lutz.

And if the County Jail fills up?

"If we have some people that maybe have 30 days and they have 25 in, the judge may go ahead and release them early," said Lutz.

"It’s not going to cut really any services to our citizens of our county," said Lutz.