New Greene County Jail under construction • The Yellow Springs News

Last week, state and county leaders broke ground on a new $76 million facility that will house a new county jail, as well as county Law Enforcement Department offices. The new facility will replace the current jail — built in 1969 — in downtown Xenia. (Presented by Wachtel & McAnally)

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On Friday, Oct. 27, state and county leaders gathered at the Greene County Adult Detention Center, or ADC, on Greenway Boulevard in Xenia to begin construction on a $76 million facility that will house a new county jail as well as county law enforcement. Management Offices.

This new facility will replace the current county jail in downtown Xenia. The prison was built in 1969, and has been subject to a federal consent decree due to its substandard infrastructure and overcrowding since 1989.

While the current jail can hold up to 146 inmates and 236 additional inmates, the replacement facility will hold a total of 482 — that’s 100 additional beds available for county inmates.

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The new facility, called the Jane Fisher County Correctional Center, takes its name from the county’s former sheriff, who died in 2022 and spent much of his career petitioning for a new and improved jail.

Construction of the new jail is being funded by a $15 million state grant, $30 million in sales tax-financed bonds, $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act revenues and $40 million from the Greene County General Fund.

Greene County voters rejected tax levies to pay for a new jail in 2020 and 2021. The original tax, if passed, would have funded the design of a new 500-bed prison; The latter would have financed a 384-bed design.

According to County Executive Brandon Huddleson, who The News spoke with earlier this week, those two drawings never took into account “if” the county would build a new jail.

“We have long needed a better prison,” Huddleson said. “What we have now is not performing the way it needs to. These fees would have been short-term solutions to help pay for new construction, and now (the county) is ultimately paying more.

“It’s not up to the voters whether we need a new jail or not — that’s the responsibility of the sheriff and commissioners,” the county manager added. “This has been needed for a long time.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine — who was present at the groundbreaking ceremony on October 27, and who began his political career in the Greene County District Attorney’s Office — said in a press release in April of this year that the $15 million grant awarded to Greene County was part of A larger statewide initiative called the Ohio Prison Safety and Security Grant Program, which has released up to $50 million to 11 counties for jail construction and renovation projects.

“It is important that our prisons are safe and secure, but it is also important that our prison environments influence positive change and set prisoners on a good path upon their release,” DeWine’s statement said. “With this funding, we are helping these local jails move forward with projects that will allow them to better meet the demands of our modern criminal justice system and support the growing population of inmates struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues.”

Wayne County — which also received $15 million to expand and renovate the existing jail in that county — tied with Greene County for the highest amount awarded by the state initiative.

The new Greene County Jail building will be attached to the existing Adult Detention Center – which was built in 2000. Currently, the detention center is used for minimum security offenders. In addition to a total of 482 beds, the new facility at the detention center will include new administration and forensic offices. Also, the new facility will have space for mental health programs and other medical services, such as the county’s Greene Leaf program that provides substance abuse counseling.

“And those are the types of programs we want to make more room for,” Huddleson said. “Green Leaf has been a huge success, so we want to see that program grow and see other programs. This prison will create that space.”

Construction of the new Greene County Jail is expected to take two years.

As previously reported in the news, the new prison was designed by Wachtel & McAnally, an architecture and planning firm based in Newark, Ohio that has done projects for the public and private sectors, including building schools. The company has built jails in 33 counties across the state, including facilities in neighboring Clark and Clinton counties.

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