Jail levy fails to pass

Hannah Armenta

Issue 18, which would have given the Portage County Jail a $1.2 million tax levy to assist with overcrowding, has failed to pass.

Portage County Sheriff David Doak spoke with KentWired in a previous interview and stressed the importance of passing Issue 18.


“I’m a little disappointed,” Doak said. “But, at the same time it wasn’t a popular thing to put before voters.”

The levy would have lasted two years, and would allow the jail to have 32 beds for female inmates. The jail averages 45 female inmates at one time, but only has capacity for 34.

Jails have seen a spike in overcrowding over the past two years due to a rise in drug use.

“Yesterday, on Election Day, we had 50 females in custody in a facility that is supposed to have 34,” Doak said.

Without the money provided from the levy, the jail will be forced to keep conditions the same, he said.

The jail is liable to be sued for its crowded conditions, Doak said. If the county lost the case, it could result in a court-ordered action forcing the county to impose the tax anyway.

“They’d be forced to put a tax on,” Doak said. “A common sales tax or a property tax, but it would have to be one of the two.”