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Lake County, Ohio - Sheriff's Office

Inmate Programming

    The Inmate programming team leaders have interfaced with all of the team leaders offering their full support in coordinating inmate requests to participate in the programming services.  Over 265 volunteers have donated over 3,700 of their time to these programs.  Truly these programs are a community effort to bring about change in our neighborhoods.

    Inmate Programming


    The Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Division of Corrections currently offers one of the most extensive inmate programming curriculums found in Ohio’s County Jails, supported by a wide use of volunteers throughout the area.  

    Why is such programming critical to Lake County?   A quick look at inmate demographics nationwide illustrates the problems we are faced with.

    • There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in our prisons and jails today in the United States, as well as an additional 6 million persons on Probation and Parole.  Totaled, that is more people then in college or above in the United States.
    • There are 33% more mentally ill people in our jails and prisons today then there are in our mental hospitals.  Further, 16% of people incarcerated in jail today have mental conditions
    • 50-55% of all inmates in our jail and prisons have drug or alcohol addictions related to their crimes
    • 9% of inmates nationwide were homeless in the last 12 months prior to their arrest
    • Nearly 50% of those incarcerated nationwide cannot read or write
    • Over 60% of inmates were unemployed nationwide at the time of their arrest
    • This year over 700,000 people will be released from our nations jails and prisons ... less then 10% will receive any type of treatment for their lack of education, mental health issues, and drug/alcohol addictions. 
    Release Type: Pew Press Release

    Pew Contact: Jessica Riordan, 215.575.4886

    If we fail to address the major issues of drug/alcohol abuse, mental health, lack of education and homelessness  we will be releasing back into our neighborhoods the same people who came to jail, with the same problems, only with increased problems associated with incarceration.  

    It is the philosophy of the Lake County Adult Detention Facilities to return inmates back to society better then when they first came to us.  If we can help send inmates back home who are able to deal with their mental issues, who can stay off of drugs and alcohol, and who can obtain a GED so they can get better jobs, then we will be able to make homes safer for their children; our neighborhoods safer for the entire community; and reduce the burden of financial assistance for local government.

    To address these issues and make real progress to realizing our goals, our programming offered to the inmates of the Lake County Jail includes:

    Alcoholics Anonymous

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.  It is estimated that there are more than 114,000 groups and over 2,000,000 members in 180 countries.  A.A. is a program of total abstinence. Members simply stay away from one drink, one day at a time. Sobriety is maintained through sharing experience, strength and hope at group meetings and through the suggested Twelve Steps for recovery from alcoholism.  Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by a leader and two or three speakers who share experience as it relates to their alcoholism and their recovery in A.A. Some meetings are held for the specific purpose of informing the nonalcoholic public about A.A. Doctors, members of the clergy, and public officials are invited. Closed discussion meetings are for alcoholics only.

    In May 2014 the average number of inmates who attended AA meetings per week at the Lake County Jail are as follows:

    • Males - 23.7
    • Females - 37.2 

    In May 2014 the average number of inmates who attended the "Special Recovery" meetings per week at the lake County Jail are as follows:

    • Males - 15.4

    Narcotics Anonymous 

    Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early Fifties. The NA program started as a small US movement that has grown into one of the world's oldest and largest organizations of its type.  Narcotics Anonymous provides a recovery process and support network inextricably linked together. One of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA. These principles are the core of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program.

    Principles incorporated within the steps include:  
    • admitting there is a problem; 
    • seeking help; 
    • engaging in a thorough self-examination; 
    • confidential self-disclosure; 
    • making amends for harm done; 
    • and helping other drug addicts who want to recover.

    In May 2014 the average number of inmates who attended NA meetings per week at the Lake County Jail are as follows:

    • Males - 21.6
    • Females - 21.9

    G. E. D. ......... General Educational Development

    GED - General Educational Development

    In November 1942, the United States Armed Forces Institute asked the American Council on Education (ACE) to develop a battery of tests to measure high school-level academic skills. These Tests of General Educational Development gave military personnel and veterans who had entered World War II service before completing high school a way to demonstrate their knowledge. Passing these tests gave returning soldiers and sailors the academic credentials they needed to get civilian jobs.  More than 15 million people have received a GED credential since the program began.

    The General Educational Development (GED) test measures secondary school academic proficiency equivalence and is recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma.   A new computer-based GED test was initiated in January 2014 and consists of four tests which can be studied for and taken separately.  For Ohioans who did not finish high school, earning their GED credential is important to getting a good job, applying for a better job, and entering a workforce program or college.

    Currently, the new computer-based GED test is administered at official GED test centers.  Students must sign-up at in order to pay for and schedule tests at a nearby testing center. is the only official website for the test and is a helpful resource for anyone wishing to learn more.

    GED classes at the Lake County Jail are part of the Auburn Career Center ABLE program.  Class is held twice weekly to prepare for the test by strengthening skills in math, reading, and language.  Adults 19 and older are eligible for services.  Those who are 18 must provide an official withdrawal form from their school district before being admitted to the program.

    Religious Services and Programming

    The Lake County Detention Facilities work with many area Churches and religious organizations to help provide inmates the opportunity to practice their religious beliefs.  On Saturdays and Sundays inmates are permitted to attend religious services offered by the area faiths (including, but not limited to Non-Denominational Services, Protestant, Catholic and Muslim)  Further programming offers Men' Bible study, Women's Bible study, Wedding facilitation, and individualized meetings with members of the clergy.  Participating groups include:

    • St. Anthony - Fairport Harbor
    • St. Mary - Painesville
    • St. Gabriel - Concord
    • St. Noel - Willoughby Hills 
    • Immaculate Conception-Madison
    • Saint John Vianney-Mentor
    • Saint Mary -Mentor
    • Saint Mary- Chardon
    • Saint Bedes the Venerable-Mentor
    • Saint Cyprians-Perry
    • East Heisley Church of God
    • New Mercies Community
    • Leroy Chappell 
    • Painesville Assembly of God 
    • Mentor Baptist 
    • Islamic Center of Cleveland

    In May 2014 the average number of inmates who attended church services per week at the Lake County Jail are as follows:

    •    Sunday day services (males) average 39.8  (3 services)
    •    Sunday day services (females) average 20.0  (1 service)
    •    Sunday night serivces (males) average 54.5  (3 services)
    •    Sunday night services (females) average 26.9 (1 service)
    •    Saturday Jehovah's Witness Service average 9.2 ( 2 services)

    In May 2014 the average number of inmates who attended bible study per week at the Lake County Jail are as follows:

    •    Tuesday (males) average 17.1
    •    Tuesday (females) average 11.3

    Library Services

    The Lake County Detention Facilities offers a wide-variety of reading material through the inmate library services program.  Volunteer Librarians Dee Trepal and Edward Lord spend 10 hours or more per week facilitating the donations, up-keep, and distribution of books to the inmate population.  Reading material includes educational, fiction, and non-fiction material.

    Women In Transition Through Support Programming

    The development of the jail Women in Transition Through Support Services program was created to offer on-site services and support for women during incarceration, as well as providing them with a continued resource and linkage to agencies within the area that can assist them in making a good transition back to the community, and to their family.  W.I.T.T.S. is geared to facilitating quality changes in the lives of female offenders so that they can achieve their true potential to be active and contributing members in society, and most importantly, in the lives of their children and families. The program offers the female population services such as a Victim’s Assistance group that focuses on being a Victim, Female support Group, Parenting Classes, Zumba Classes, Yoga Classes, Vision Boarding, Domestic Violence, Blasts Groups and Employment series.     

    Contributing Members to WITTS include:        
    • Beacon Health                       
    • Extended Housing
    • Women's Center Lakeland Community College                  
    • Lake County Job and Family Services                 
    • Victims Assistance Program
    • Forbes House   
    • Ohio State University Extension
    • Lake Metropolitian Housing Authority
    • Girl Scouts of North East Ohio  
    • Catholic Charities Families of Promise
    • Convenant Outreach Through Advocacy and Agency Networking (COTAAN)
    Programming for WITTS inlcudes:

    The “Female Support” group focuses on stress associated with being in jail.  It helps the women deal with problem solving, trust, goal, planning, anger management and many other topics dealing with stress.  The sessions are conducted by members of Beacon Health on Tuesday.

    The "Domestic Violence" class is held once a month through the Jail Treaatment Program. The group teaches women how to deal with anger issues and how to cope with being a victim of domestic violence.

    The “Parenting Class” aides in assisting women with dealing with their children from a new born to adulthood.  The group focuses on setting children up for success as well as trying to become a better parent. The group addresses topics on having a healthy relationships with children and coping with stress that can be associated with raising children. 

    The "Yoga" class focuses on a healthy mind and body.  The group meets on Thursday and averages 21 women per session.  The class is conducted by Anne Audrey and six other volunteers.

    The "Zumba" class foucuses on using engery in a positive manner to release stress. The class is conducted by Lana Neibuhr and several other Zumba instructorson Friday's. 

    The "Assessing Yourself" class affords the women the opportunity to take a look at their lives starting from childhood, their friends, their family to figure out what is wrong in their lives in order to set goals to determine and reach positive outcomes while making good choices.

    Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation 

    The Jail Treatment Program was developed in response to the needs of the Criminal Justice System. For Lake county judges and probation officers, it provides structured intensive chemical dependency treatment for clients in a setting where abstinence is insured. It also provides a unique opportunity to mete out logical consequences for crimes while simultaneously addressing the root cause of those crimes. For those offenders who have failed to successfully arrest their addiction through less restrictive means, the Jail Treatment Program provides a logical and cost effective alternative.

    Agencies and Services used for Continuing AfterCare Treatment include but not limited to:

    • AA/NA
    • Associated Bilingual Counselors 
    • Beacon Health
    • Catholic Charities
    • Community Action for Addiction
    • Community Drug Board (Akron)
    • Cuyahoga County Drug Court
    • Cuyahoga County TASC
    • Ed Keating Center
    • Firelands Counseling
    • Free Clinic (Cleveland)
    • FMRH Mental Health Council
    • Glenbeigh
    • Horizon House
    • Horizon Village (NY)
    • Lake Geauga CADA 
    • *Mentor Office
    • *Chardon Office
    • Lake HouseLake Area Recovery Center (LARC)
    • Laura’s Home
    • Moore Counseling Center
    • Outpatient Aftercare
    • Inpatient Aftercare
    • NEOCAP
    • North Coast Counseling (NCC) 
    • *Willoughby Office *Ashtabula Office
    • North Coast Behavioral               
    • Prison Recovery Resources
    • Ravenwood
    • Salvation Army (Cleveland/Akron)
    • Signature Health
    • Teen Challenge
    • Trinity
    • Turning Point
    • Veteran Administration 
    • Western Reserve Counseling
    • Windsor/Laurawood Hospital


    Physical Fitness

    The Lake County Detention Facilities offer inmates access to indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) recreational areas, as well as housing area exercise programming. An exercise video is shown everyday at 9:00 am and 6:00 pm so that the inmates can have additional exercise in their housing units.
    Note: Contrary to misconceptions, there are no weight machines or swimming areas provided to the inmate population.

    Anger Management Programming

    The Mental Health Counselors and area organizations provide Anger Management therapy to the inmate population.  The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.  Often the Jail works in conjunction with the Courts to provide inmates training on curbing the anger before returning back to their families.

    Mental Health Services

    The jail system has two full-time Mental health Consultants and a part-time psychiatrist employed by Beacon Health.  These two mental health counselors are responsible for the screening of incoming prisoners for significant psychological issues and illnesses, whether it be from depression, suicide risk, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders or any other form of psychological illness or distress.  They screen and prioritize those inmates needing to see the psychiatrist who may evaluate them a determine a treatment which includes possible medications.  The counselors also supervise the placements of inmates into the designated mental health/special needs housing unit.  Further, they respond to inmates in mental health crises, as well as monitoring the status of inmates on the mental health caseload, including those referred by the Lake County Courts. 

    Medical Services

    The Medical Department provides and coordinates medical, dental and psychiatric services to the inmate population of the Lake County Adult Detention Center.  These services include:
    • Medical screenings of all inmates
    • History & Physical exam of all inmates sentenced to ten days or longer.
    • TB screening of all inmates.
    • Emergency medical services.Continuing care of pre-existing conditions.
    • Diagnosis, treatment and education of new conditions.
    • Scheduled sick call with Dr. McNaughton.
    • Coordinating medical services with Mental Health 
    • Coordinating dental services.
    • Generating and maintaining medical records. 

    In addition to providing services to inmates, the medical staff provides first aid, TB tests and hepatitis inoculations to employees.

    Work Release

    The Work Release program allows selected inmates to work at paid employment in the community during their period of incarceration.  As ordered by the Court, these inmates are released each day to work and must return at the end of their work day to the jail.  This program provides:
    • Continuation of Income and Benefits to the Inmate and his/her family
    • Retention of Employment after release from jail
    • Gradual reintegration back into the community.
    • Accumulation of savings from paid employment.
    • Preservation of family and community ties
    • Ability for inmate to offset costs involved in his/her incarceration 

    Inmate Worker Programming

    The Inmate Worker program allows selected inmates to work inside the jail in a variety of jobs to help reduce the cost of jail operations.  The program allows the inmates to earn good time to reduce their time of incarceration, learn new job skills, and provides an opportunity to give back to the community.  Inmate Worker jobs include:
    • Laundry Workers
    • Kitchen Workers
    • Jail Cleaning / Painting 
    • Car Wash
    • Library Upkeep
    VA - Veterans Administration Benefits Counseling 
    Homeless and Incarcerated Veterans Outreach 
    Public Contact Team - 214b VA Regional Office - Cleveland 
    216.522.3530 extension #3362