New effort aims to reduce population at Summit County Jail, but some police chiefs disagree

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Twenty-three inmates currently housed at the Summit County Jail don’t have beds.Instead, they are sleeping on cots, including some that resemble large rubber sleighs.The use of cots is a result of the jail’s overcrowding problem that has been exacerbated by a funding shortage, coupled with higher arrests from the heroin epidemic.A new program aims to ease the jail’s overcrowding by giving people charged with nonviolent, low-level felonies a summons to appear in court rather than putting them behind bars while they wait for their initial court appearance. The eligible charges include drug possession, receiving stolen property, theft and other similar non­violent crimes.The effort has been piloted in Akron with positive results, with plans to expand it...

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