Gallia County makes progress on new jail facility

Local News

GALLIA COUNTY, OHIO (WOWK) — Five months ago, an area by the Gallia County Courthouse was just an empty dirt lot. However, a new county jail is beginning to take shape.

“The facility is gonna house 120 inmates. It’s also gonna have a full kitchen, it’s going to have a laundry, it’s going to have medical facilities. It’s gonna have some other available space there for some treatment and what have you,” says Harold Montgomery, Gallia County Commissioner.

Officials say the new jail will be a huge improvement on the county’s current incarceration situation. And, they say it will save money.

“Our current jail is in excess of 50 years old. It’s rated between 11 and 22 beds depending on what classification you look at.  With that, we currently house a population of that fluctuates anywhere between 65 anywhere up to 90 inmates per day. That looks like logistically, is outsourcing a lot of those inmates to other county jails which obviously comes at an expense to the county,” says Sheriff Matt Champlin of Gallia County, Ohio.

This totals a cost overrun of the jail budget of around $600-$800 thousand per year in the out-of-county housing, according to Montgomery.

The new jail will hopefully fix that.

Even though this project will cost around $20 million dollars, the county just got a financial boost from the State of Ohio.

“We’re going to receive five and half million dollars to help offset the cost of the rising material cost of this facility and it will prevent us from having to scale back our project,” Montgomery says.

Sheriff Champlin says once the jail is finished, other counties will benefit, too.

“We feel like it’s gonna be a benefit to our sister counties who are also in the same predicament that we’re in; we’ll be able to house some inmates from other counties which ultimately brings some revenue from those counties into other counties,” Champlin says.

This new jail is expected to be completed by next fall.

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