Pricey Prisoners

by Brittany Harris on April 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

Zanesville City Council members recently asked Police Chief Eric Lambes to create a report estimating how much it would cost to reopen the second floor of the jail.

Chief Lambes said if that portion would cost around $80,000 to operate on a yearly basis. They have lost 16 beds by shutting it down.

"Until funding improves, I doubt that we’re going to open that floor unless we can come up with a way to operate it more inexpensively, which right now it doesn’t appear that it’s out there," he said.

He said with Kasich’s proposal to restructure the sentencing laws in Ohio, more offenders will be returning back to city jails. He said it’s costly to house inmates.

"Medical expenses eat up a great portion of our budget, if we weren’t paying for medical expenses we could easily open the second floor and run the jail at full capacity," said Chief Lambes.

Reports show that in 2010, the ZPD spent nearly $40,000 on medical expenses alone.