Lucas County, OH

Summary

Lucas County, Ohio is in the process of comprehensive criminal justice reform, including pretrial risk assessment, enhancing community-based behavioral health and drug-dependency diversion resources, and expanding reentry-based programming. To continue building upon these reform efforts, Lucas County was awarded $1.75 million from the Safety and Justice Challenge in 2016 to invest in effective strategies to further reduce the average daily jail population over the next two years while addressing racial and ethnic disparity.

Working with law enforcement personnel, Lucas County will launch a series of pre-arrest educational and training programs addressing implicit bias, procedural justice, and crisis de-escalation, while providing meaningful jail alternatives including on-demand access to behavioral health resources. To further address racial disparity and underserved populations, pretrial diversion programs will be expanded and enhanced.  The county will also establish a Population Review Team comprised of a variety of stakeholders who will conduct weekly case-by-case assessments of the entire pretrial population to identify and recommend individuals who are suitable for release or expedited case resolution.  In addition, judges and court personnel will manage pretrial risk through tiered supervision options and community-based resources such as GPS electronic monitoring, and will implement coordinated probation protocols throughout all county jurisdictions.

  • African Americans make up 19% of the county population, yet represent 58% of custodial arrests over the last five years
  • An estimated 30% of the sentenced jail population is incarcerated due to technical violations of probation
  • African Americans make up 57% of those held for the three charges that together represent the largest volume of bookings: drug possession, disorderly conduct, and obstructing official business offenses
  • Ten sessions for law enforcement on implicit bias and other issues, such as community-policing relations and procedural justice—hosted in partnership with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission—will reduce racial and ethnic disparities
  • An innovative crisis de-escalation will help law enforcement personnel learn how to divert individuals with mental illness toward community-based services instead of jail, screen for behavioral health issues during booking, and expand access to a new Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center
  • A new Population Review Team—comprised of prosecutors, public defenders, pretrial services, community mental health personnel, and corrections representatives—will conduct weekly reviews of the entire pretrial population and identify individuals who are suitable for release or expedited case resolution

Lucas County is supported by $1.75 million from the Safety and Justice Challenge over the next two years.

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