On May 21, 1999, an open house was held on the site of Wayne County's revolutionary new correctional facility, the Discipline and Rehabilitation Center (DRC). Located at 146 West South Street in the City of Wooster, the former home of Young's IGA supermarket, the DRC promises to provide an ideal setting for the rehabilitation of non-violent offenders, as well as substantial savings to Wayne County taxpayers.
Sometimes referred to as the "Pay-to-Stay" facility (see Crime and Punishment, August, 1998), the DRC will be a minimum security facility for low-risk inmates who are eligible for work releases. In exchange for the limited freedoms and gentler atmosphere of this environment, inmates will pay a substantial portion of the cost of their incarceration, thus creating a significant reduction in the cost to Wayne County taxpayers.
In addition to the financial advantages of these inmates paying for their own incarceration, the DRC will substantially reduce the cost of imprisoning more serious offenders. More bed space will become available at the Wayne County Jail, resulting in a gradual reduction of the jail waiting list and a drastic decrease in the number of prisoners who must be held in the jails of adjoining counties.
This new facility will house up to 60 inmates. At first, the facility will house only male prisoners, but within the first year of operation, it is expected to house as many as 20 female inmates in a separately secured area. This alternative housing will provide additional bed space for female inmates at the county jail, which has long been plagued with a very limited capacity for female inmates.
Final construction work is proceeding at a brisk pace. The DRC's official opening is now scheduled for June 1, 1999.
As many readers know, the last few months have been very busy for our office. We apologize for missing the April issue of Crime and Punishment, which we did not have time to produce. However, our vigorous efforts at trial have produced powerful results.
Assistant Prosecutors John Williams and Jocelyn Stefancin were successful in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Gregory Crawford, 37, was guilty of aggravated murder, and that his crime warranted the death penalty. It was the first death verdict issued in Wayne County in more than 15 years.
The jury's recommendation was later overruled by the trial judge, who imposed a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.