Warren County jail crowded at time of near riot

Warren County is in the process of replacing the jail where a near riot was prevented on Tuesday in Lebanon.

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Warren County is in the process of replacing the jail where a near riot was prevented on Tuesday in Lebanon.

A Warren County commissioner pointed to Tuesday’s near riot at the Warren County Jail as proof the county needed to build a new one.

“This is exactly why we are pushing forward with expanding our jail capacity,” Commissioner Dave Young said Wednesday.

Police from Lebanon and surrounding communities rushed to the Warren County Jail Tuesday night in time to prevent a riot planned by the inmates.

The jail, which is operating at or near its 280-prisoner capacity as the county moves toward construction of a $50 million replacement, is located in Lebanon in a county government complex off the Ohio 48 bypass.

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While the county moves to replace the old jail, doors are off cells to enable “double bunking, expanding the jail’s capacity, Young said.

This results in people in jail on minor traffic offenses and other misdemeanors interacting with accused murders and other felons, Young said.

Also no lockdown is possible due to the lack of cell doors.

“You can’t exactly do that,” Young said.

It was unclear how jail officers learned of the plan in time to call for help and prevent the riot, reportedly planned for 6 p.m.

At about 5:50 p.m., “received information of a planned riot by inmates. This riot did not happen,” Jail Administrator Major Brett Richardson said in a press release issued at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A call went out to for assistance.

“A swift response from local law enforcement including Lebanon Police Department, Mason Police Department and Morrow Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Jails Emergency Response Team brought the incident to conclusion before there was any act of violence,” Richardson added.

Troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol also assisted, according to earlier reports.

Deputies said the riot was planned by a group of inmates.

RELATED: Jail riot averted in Warren County

The inmates involved are expected to face additional charges.

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“It was the threat of something really bad happening, not something really bad happening,” Young added.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office provided no further information Wednesday.

“We have no reports as of today. It may take a few days or even longer for reports to be completed and sent to the records division,” Paul Sarver, office manager said in response to a records request from this news organization.

In response to questions, Chief Deputy Barry Riley said via email, “We appreciate your inquiry. We will release information as we deem appropriate and only when we are ready.”

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