GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Commissioners appropriated $200,000 Thursday for Gallia correctional uses as arrests climb with the continuing opioid epidemic.
In a statement given by Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin Thursday, he says “Our daily prisoner population averages between 90-100 inmates. Of those 90-100 inmates, we house approximately 35 in the Gallia County Jail which is in the basement of the courthouse. An additional approximate 40 inmates are housed at the Gallia County Work Release Center which is located on State Route 7 North in Cheshire near the Gallia – Meigs county line. The remaining inmate population is outsourced to other facilities throughout the State of Ohio. We are currently utilizing the following jails to meet our inmate housing needs. Middleport Jail, Monroe County Jail, Shelby County Jail, Morrow County Jail, Washington County Jail, Holmes County Jail and Van Wert County Jail.”
“To date, our records reflect that this out of county housing has totaled in excess of $300,000, which is in addition to our expenses associated with housing prisoners locally,” he continues. “This approximate cost does not include inmate medical and transportation costs. In our ongoing fight to stop crime and safeguard our county, we know that these expenses are both necessary and unavoidable, however, we work diligently every day to try to control these costs to the best of our abilities while still providing the services to our citizens that they expect and deserve. “
Champlin has said transporting inmates can be an issue as the county has contracted with other correctional facilities across the state to house a growing inmate population. The Gallia Jail is a 22-bed facility, but at times may house several more inmates to keep up with drug-related crime arrests with the heroin epidemic.
The sheriff’s office has spent $333,000 on out-of-county inmates in food, housing and medical costs from the beginning of the year and into the end of May. Commissioners have said the Gallia general fund has around $8.6 million. With total judicial and law enforcement obligations, around 46 percent of the fund in the past has been dedicated to those needs alone in a single year.