Govenor approves $15 mill in grant money for Greene County jail project


XENIA — Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Annette Chambers-Smith visited Xenia on Friday to discuss funding support for construction, renovation, and security improvement projects at nearly a dozen local jails in Ohio — including $15 million for Greene County’s jail — had been approved.

DeWine and Chambers-Smith along with Sheriff Scott Anger and other elected officials toured the jail’s lower level, which includes a workout room where a kitchen once stood.

“It’s critical that our jails are safe and secure, but it’s also important that our jail environments can influence positive change and put inmates on a good path upon release,” DeWine said. “With this funding, we’re helping these local jails move forward with projects that will allow them to better meet the demands of our modern criminal justice system and further support the growing number of inmates struggling with substance use and mental health issues.”

Greene County is the 18th largest county in Ohio and it has a great need for a new or renovated jail, Anger said.

“I’m just ecstatic, this is a very happy day for me,” he said.

Greene County Board of County Commissioners President Rick Perales, agreed with Anger’s assessment that “this project has been on the books for a long time” and the proposed jail safety enhancements, mental health programming, etc., would go far to keep the staff and inmates safe.

Added State Rep. Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek), “The additional grant money from the governor and legislature will give the county officials and the sheriff the flexibility to add space for mental health care and addiction treatment programs.”

Plans for the renovated Adult Detention Center on Greene Way Boulevard, call for separate men and women’s wings for a total of 250 beds. The new center will eventually bear former long-time Sheriff Gene Fischer’s name. Newark-based architects Wachtel & McAnally signed an agreement months ago to provide architect services for the Greene County Jail project.

In total, approximately $50 million in funding from the Ohio Jail Safety and Security Program was awarded to 11 county jail projects, including six construction and/or renovation projects.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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