The Court & Jail Services Division is responsible for the operation of all adult detention facilities in Hamilton County under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office.
With an average daily inmate population of 1424, and an estimated 55,000 admissions annually, the local jail system is ranked in the top 25 largest in the nation.
The Hamilton County Justice Center, which was completed in 1985 at a cost of 54 million dollars, is the Division’s primary facility (inmate capacity of 1,240). In addition, the Division also maintains detention facilities at Reading Road Facility (172); and Woodburn Ave. facility (60), a comprehensive treatment program for multiple DUI offenders. Division personnel also provide for the security of inmates admitted to University Hospital and for juveniles who are to be tried as adults. The total Court Limited capacity is 1472
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Court Services is a multi-faceted operation consisting of four sections that handle a variety of tasks including; court room and building security, service of Common Pleas Court process, public auction of foreclosed and tax default properties, service of indictments and felony warrants, extradition of fugitives, contract security services for other County Departments, prisoner transportation, service of Probate Court warrants and transportation of probate patients at mental health hearings.
These duties are mandated by the Ohio Revised Code and assigned by statute to the Sheriff’s Office in each of the 88 counties throughout the State of Ohio.
Court Services operates under the direction of Captain Jeff Carroll with the assistance of Lieutenant James Young.
The deputies of the Sheriff’s Court Services are dedicated and professional men and women that are assigned throughout its four sections to perform a variety of duties.
Court Service Courthouse Section
This section includes uniform deputies who provide the primary law enforcement and investigative duties for the Hamilton County Courthouse and the county campus area. These officers also provide court room security and prisoner escorts to and from all judicial proceedings in all Common Pleas court rooms.
Civil Process Unit
This unit is responsible for processing and service of over 51,000 writs, subpoenas, and other court orders throughout Hamilton Country.
K-9 Explosive Detection Unit
This unit is available to all area agencies requiring services of an Explosive Detection dog / handler team.
Juvenile / Domestic Relations Court / Security Section
This Court Security Unit includes uniformed deputies that provide security for several county buildings, Juvenile Judges and all Domestic Relations hearings and Courtrooms. Deputies in this unit escort prisoners to and from judicial proceedings in these courts and handle the primary law enforcement duties in county buildings.
Execution Section represents the Sheriff’s Office in the areas of property foreclosures, Sheriff sales, and various court orders relative to property possession and / or seizure as determined by the court.
Fugitive Warrant Section
Fugitive / Special Warrant Unit
These units annually handle over 8,000 warrants resulting from indictments, capiases, probation violations, foreign warrants, extradition’s, local and Governor’s warrants. The primary duties of fugitive detectives are to locate, apprehend and process wanted persons.
Officers in this unit have the responsibility for locating, service of process, apprehension and the transportation of individuals under the jurisdiction of Probate Court’s Mental Hygiene Section.
These officers transport approximately 4,000 prisoners annually to and from penal institutions throughout Ohio and when required, returns fugitives to Ohio when apprehended in other jurisdictions.
A computerized Jail Management System assist staff and other criminal justice agencies in locating and maintaining accurate information on the inmate population .In cooperation with various community organizations, inmates are offered an opportunity to participate in religious, educational and social services programs. For example, through an affiliation with Transforming Jail Ministries, the Division Adult Jail Chaplaincy Program provides for the religious and spiritual needs of the inmates.
The Division offers an Adult Education Program addressing the need of the incarcerated adult learner, whose skills range from illiteracy to some college. The voluntary program serves approximately 450 inmates a year. Hamilton County is the only Sheriff’s Office in Ohio to offer final GED Testing on-site for qualifying students. The Division also offers the MANA program (“Mentoring Against Negative Actions”). A program designed to help young men become men. The magnitude of the community’s financial investment in providing adequate detention facilities requires the responsible utilization of all resources. The Corrections Division recognizes that responsibility and the obligation to maintain a safe and secure environment for those individuals committed to the Division’s care and custody.
The Electronic Monitoring Division came under the administration of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in the beginning of 2006. Working in conjunction with the Courts, the Electronic Monitoring Division is responsible for providing a cost-effective alternative to incarceration by establishing a flexible sentencing option for the Municipal and Common Pleas Judges of Hamilton County, while simultaneously reducing jail overcrowding and providing necessary community safeguards through intense supervision.
The program’s focal point is the rigorous administration of supervision through in-field surveillance and electronic monitoring of offenders’ activities with an immediate response to infractions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The evaluation, processing and statistical application of the offender’s data is conducted by the Electronic Monitoring Investigators who determines the eligibility of entry into the program and offenders conformity to the rules and regulations of the monitoring program. Judges orders are reviewed for any special conditions that may be a requirement of Electronic Monitoring placement, such as drug and alcohol testing, community service hours, maintain employment, restraining orders, etc. Entered data is checked and analyzed for precision and program compliance.
Electronic Monitoring Enforcement Officers are highly skilled and motivated “in field” Deputy Sheriffs, establishing offenders’ compliance with Court ordered supervision. One of the officers primary duties requires frequent contact with an offender. Home visits are randomly conducted not only to inspect monitoring equipment inside the residence but also to evaluate the overall conformity of the offender to the conditions set forth in the rules of the participation agreement.
Electronic monitoring is also utilized when the offender has been granted permission to be at his/her place of employment, school, or other pre-approved, outside the home activity. The field officer utilize a portable hand-held receiver that is capable of detecting the offender’s location within a defined area. This enhances compliance by ensuring that the field officers can identify the offender’s whereabouts at any given time throughout the period of Court order supervision.
The EMD officer is an invaluable asset in the application of community based control, not only gaining essential information and insight on the supervised offender but also by building relationships within the community. The intense and random field supervision through the Electric Monitoring Division is an effective tool in compelling offender to abide by the Court’s order and dissuade associating with undesirables and engaging in illicit behavior.
The Electronic Monitoring program has proven to be a cost effective means to supervise offenders while safeguarding the community. The development of the intensive field unit will help to ensure that the cost of Electronic Monitoring supervision remains significantly lower than traditional custodial confinement. Global Positioning System, or GPS, will soon be available to monitor certain high risk offenders on a perpetual basis utilizing the latest in wireless technology and satellite tracking.
To provide for the general welfare of inmates, Corrections administers a wide variety of programs and services including an accredited Health Services Section (medical, dental and psychiatric), a commercially equipped laundry, and an institutional kitchen that prepares 120,000 meals a month. Division Staff are also responsible for the supervision of inmate recreation programs and for the efficient operation of the commissary, mail and property room services. A chapel is located in the Justice Center and with a variety of religious services available.