By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Wood County jail is once again opening its doors to inmates from Toledo – but only misdemeanor offenders.
The county commissioners will review the contract between the Wood County Justice Center and City of Toledo on Thursday morning.
The agreement allows Toledo to “rent” 10 beds on an ongoing basis at the Wood County jail, on East Gypsy Lane Road in Bowling Green. The beds will be used for misdemeanor offenders sentenced under the Toledo municipal code.
“They are the lowest level offenders,” Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said Wednesday.
That’s good for many reasons, the sheriff said.
“We’re tight when it comes to secure housing, but we have plenty of beds in minimum security,” he said.
The misdemeanor offenders also pose the least risk.
“They aren’t all altar boys, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts,” Wasylyshyn said. But it’s nothing the jail staff isn’t accustomed to dealing with, he added.
This is not the first time Wood County entered an agreement with Toledo to house inmates.
In the summer of 2016, Toledo officials turned to Wood County for a solution to its inmate issues during an ongoing feud over charges to the city from the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker. That arrangement lasted about six months, until Toledo and CCNO renegotiated prices for prisoner housing.
This contract is similar to the last one between Toledo and Wood County, except Wasylyshyn said he made sure to clean up a transportation issue – with the new contract requiring Toledo to pay for the inmates’ taxi transports back to Toledo once they are released from jail.
Toledo will pay the county jail for 10 inmate beds, regardless of whether or not all 10 are needed. If Toledo needs more than 10, the city will pay $65 per bed per day, plus the booking cost of $40.
“We’re talking roughly $240,000 a year,” Wasylyshyn said.
That money will be put toward the proposed expanded booking area and renovated medical area of the Wood County Justice Center, the sheriff said.
“It’s great for Wood County. It’s great for Toledo,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Toledo will also pay for medical costs or other expenses that arise with its inmates, according to the agreement.
The jail housing agreement has been in place since Dec. 31, with Toledo paying for each month’s beds in advance, the sheriff said. The contract extends over six months and is subject to change if either party seeks revisions. So if Wood County needs the extra bed space, the agreement can be revised, Wasylyshyn said.
That, however, is unlikely since as of Wednesday the Wood County Justice Center was housing 173 prisoners in its 240-bed facility.
The Wood County jail also accepts inmates from Maumee, Sylvania, Hancock County and Ottawa County on an as-needed basis. Last year, that brought in an additional $150,000, the sheriff said.