Lucas County Commissioners Choose Downtown Toledo for New Detention Center

Special to The Truth

The Lucas County Commissioners today announced that the new county pre-trial detention center will be built on a three-acre site at Canton and Southard streets, one block away from the current jail in downtown Toledo.

“We are thrilled to announce that the new county jail will be located in the downtown area, in close proximity to the Common Pleas Courthouse and the municipal courthouse. This location not only allows for efficient operation and state-of-the-art facilities, but also demonstrates our commitment to listening to the community and choosing a site that is appropriate for the area and neighborhood. Acquiring this land presented the perfect opportunity for us to make the logical decision and we are confident that will be the right place for the new jail,” Commissioner Pete Gerken said.

During last week’s meeting, the Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to authorize the Lucas County Economic Development Corporation to act on their behalf to complete the purchase of property owned by law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP to obtain additional land for the jail project.

The new jail will have the capacity to house 430 people and provide in-house infirmary care for 24 inmates. There will be a separate dedicated first-floor unit to house 48 females. The new jail will be designed with dormitory living spaces that hold up to 48 inmates each in a normative environment under direct supervision, which will provide operational efficiencies.

It also will have sections for administration and operations, booking, specialized housing for youthful offenders (18 to 25 years old), senior inmates, and mental health beds to provide a full continuum of mental health treatment services.

”We recognize that 60 to 66 percent of the people being held in our jail have some form of mental illness and 26 percent of them have serious or persistent mental illness. That’s why the new facility will have mental health housing where inmates can be assessed and treated by qualified mental health professionals,” Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said. “By addressing the mental health and addiction issues of inmates, we hope to break the revolving door cycle and help them function better on the outside after they are released.”

The boundaries of the new jail will include Canton, Southard, and 12th Streets. The County’s Facilities Department, currently located at Canton and Southard, will be demolished to make way for the new detention center. Together, the Facilities Department Building and the land being acquired from Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick will provide three acres of land for the new jail.

The Facilities Department will be relocated later this year into a county-owned building at 1301 Washington St. Commissioner Lisa A. Sobecki said: “The new county jail will be funded through a variety of sources, including state and federal grants, general fund revenue, and operational savings, and we will continue to pursue additional funding opportunities. We are committed to a safe environment for the people house there, visitors, and the officers who work there. By using a direct supervision model, we can encourage behavior modification and create a normative environment, and at the same time achieve operational efficiencies.”

The new pretrial facility will be two levels with a partial basement and approximately 217,000 square feet. The design, construction materials, and colors will complement existing buildings in the area and a garage entrance on 12th street will allow vehicle access into the new jail to allow for transportation of inmates to the courts. Completion of the new detention center is planned for fall of 2026. The Commissioners will break ground on the project later this year.