Press Releases

Groundbreaking for Cuyahoga County Community Based Correctional Facility

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2009
Contact: Jan Samerigo, 216-443-7662

The long-awaited goal of building a Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF) in Cuyahoga County became reality on Thursday, December 10, 2009 when a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new facility at 3540 Croton Avenue in Cleveland. Community Based Correctional Facilities have been established by Ohio law as a sentencing alternative for non-dangerous felony offenders.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judges, the County Commissioners, the City of Cleveland, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Prison overcrowding and state and local budget shortfalls make community corrections facilities viable options for courts and the communities they serve. “Cuyahoga County is the only county in Ohio that didn’t have a designated CBCF for a sentencing option,” said Judge Eileen A. Gallagher, acting administrative judge/presiding judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. “The challenges of prison overcrowding and successful offender reentry make it necessary for us to have a facility that rehabilitates through research-based programs that are proven to reduce recidivism while protecting our community.”

CBCFs provide comprehensive programming addressing offender needs such as chemical dependency treatment, education, employment, and family relationships. CBCFs are considered to be the most restrictive sentencing option in the range of community-based sanctions.

The Cuyahoga County CBCF will be a single county facility with a maximum capacity of 200 beds. A Facility Governing Board (FGB) is responsible for oversight of the facility. Two-thirds of the members of the FGB are appointed by the Judicial Advisory Board (which is made up of County Common Pleas Judges) and one third of the members are appointed by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners.

The FGB voted unanimously to name the facility the Judge Nancy R. McDonnell Community Based Correctional Facility as it was through Judge McDonnell's leadership and stewardship that this facility will become a reality.

The funding for construction and program operation comes entirely from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. According to Alfonso P. Sanchez, chairperson of the Facility Governing Board, the program is a unique partnership between state and local governments. ”The state benefits by having community corrections options in the county for non-dangerous offenders, saving costly prison bed space for more violent offenders, and the county benefits by having a locally controlled sentencing option,” said Sanchez. The Cuyahoga County CBCF will be operated by Oriana House, Inc., an internationally renowned, non–profit, community corrections and chemical dependency treatment agency that has been providing services since 1981

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