The doors were put back onto 42 maximum security cells at the Warren County Jail, following a near riot on Aug. 1.
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Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims said he decided to put the doors back on after the incident. On Aug. 1, 15 to 20 inmates banished to their cells after a fight earlier in the day in the maximum security pod of the jail threatened “we’re coming out anyway,” prompting a call-out for backup assistance that quelled the disturbance.
Without doors on the cells, “There’s certainly physically no way to stop this,” without calling for help, Sims said.
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Sims provided these details this morning while briefing the Warren County commissioners about the jail fight - during which a female guard was knocked into a cell during the ensuing melee, but uninjured – about 1:30 p.m. The near riot happened about 5:50 p.m.
“Who knows what could have happened to this officer?” Sims said.
Sims said the doors were back on the cells by Friday and were to remain there until a new jail is built.
“Our officers are going to be a lot safer,” he said, adding guards were checking the unit every 30 minutes for inmate safety.
Replacing the doors violates state jail standards, Sims said.
However, he said he was seeking a variance in light of the plans for a new jail.
After the briefing the commissioners discussed hiring the architect for the project, then adjourned for a break. Upon their return, they scored three applicants so that the design phase for the $50 million jail could begin.
After further discussion, the commissioners picked KZF Design, a Cincinnati firm which plans to collaborate with California-based Dewberry on the project.
“Let’s rock,” Sims said.