Jail to expand its crowded inmate holding area
Starting next month, the first step will be taken to make much-needed expansions and renovations to an inmate-holding area in the Mahoning County Courthouse.
Opening bids are set for Aug. 7 to improve the section for inmates, Jim Fortunato said during Friday’s county commissioners meeting.
Fortunato, county purchasing director, noted that the holding cells are overcrowded with about 40 inmates. Such a situation presents various safety and security problems, he explained.
The project, estimated at $360,000, will provide separate holding areas and private restrooms for male and female inmates, as well as a more privacy in taking prisoners to and from court, Fortunato continued. In addition, he said, a larger facility will allow sheriff’s deputies to more effectively maintain security.
More privacy and space also means attorneys will have better, more-confidential access to their clients, Fortunato noted, adding that the move also will translate to improved courthouse safety and security.
The work should take 90 to 120 days to complete, he predicted.