Opioid Epidemic Causes Overcrowding in Ohio Jail
A jail in Marion County, Ohio, is struggling to make room for their large number of inmates, thanks to the national opioid epidemic. The Multi-County Correctional Center, which can hold 202 inmates, is at or over capacity almost every day—there are barely has enough beds for everyone. According to Executive Director Dale Osborn, about 80 percent of people being held in the jail are there due to a drug-related crime. He blames opiates such as heroin for the rise in drug-related arrests
“When opiates started hitting the streets, the addictions started hitting the streets, and the thefts that go along with the opiate addiction,” said Osborn. You can look at the trafficking, you can look at addictions. You can look at a number of the other crimes you’re seeing. The thefts, the burglaries.”
The situation has gotten so bad that inmates from Hardin County are being transferred to another jail. Some inmates are even being let out early in efforts to create more space. Even so, Osborn’s employees are still strained.
“We have beds just about in every corner of this hail that is possible,” he said. “The problem is, my staffing hasn’t changed since then so it’s a very difficult situation for us.”
As for right now, the jail staff will have to continue trying to accommodate the effects of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Osborn hopes that soon, Ohio and the rest of the states will find more permanent solutions in order to combat drug abuse sweeping the nation.
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