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Findings and Recommendations From a Statewide Outcome Evaluation of Ohio Jails

NCJ Number
Brian D. Martin; Brian R. Kowalski; Sharon M. Schnelle
Date Published
June 2012
107 pages
Based on a set of best practices for jails that derive from empirical research, this study evaluated the existing jail standards and current jail inspection practices in Ohio.
The evaluation results highlight several key themes and significant facility-level characteristics that differentiate functioning levels and effectiveness in jails. Recommendations were developed and best practices were identified, stemming from actual operational procedures and administrative capacity, along with an assessment of the effectiveness of current inspection activities and jail standards in Ohio. The findings, recommendations, and best practices are presented for the following areas of jail operations: population and overcrowding; layout and supervision; staffing characteristics; and health care, mental health, and support service delivery. Recommendations and identified best practices are presented for admission and booking operations; supervision and surveillance; bed management and general population; staffing; health care, mental health, and program delivery; existing minimum jail standards in Ohio; and data collection and inspection activities. Data-collection activities included focus groups from six stakeholder groups, a correctional officer task survey of 1,005 respondents regarding training-related needs and deficiencies, statewide facility-level data collection at 86 full-service jails, an inmate survey (n = 979), a jail administrator survey with 12 respondents, semi-structured interviews of key jail operational personnel at 12 full-service jails, and intensive observational site visits at 12 full-service jails. 19 tables, 5 figures, 18 references, and appended project time-lines and data-collection tools