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Greene County voters will decide this march whether to fund the construction of a new county jail with a sales tax increase. The jail would cost $70 million to build and would expand existing jail space by 30%, consolidating the 50-year-old downtown Xenia jail, pictured here, and the newer detention center a few miles away. (News archive photo by Audrey Hackett)

Six months’ reporting on Greene County Jail

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This March, Greene County voters will decide whether to raise the sales tax by 0.25% for 12 years to pay for the construction of a new, larger county jail. The new jail would cost about $70 million and expand existing county jail space by 30%.

County officials have said the larger facility is needed to relieve overcrowding and adequately house and separate different classifications of inmates. Some local citizens have questioned the need for a larger facility, fearing that increased jail space would lead to more incarceration in the county.

The sales tax proposal will appear on the March 17 presidential primary ballot. It is the only countywide levy in the immediate Dayton area.

The News has reported on the issue since last May, when Greene County released a jail needs assessment prepared by outside consultants hired by the county to study jail issues. That report recommends replacing the county jail with a larger facility, while also sounding caution about the potential for increased incarceration. The full 238-page report can be accessed here.

The News’ coverage includes a five-part series on the jail project and related issues, as well as reporting on the sales tax proposal and responses from citizens at public hearings this fall. The News will continue to report on the jail in the lead-up to the March 17 vote.

“Inside/Out” series on Greene County Jail project and related issues:

1. Jail options considered
2. Designs for a new jail
3. New jail, bigger jail?
4. Jails ‘de facto’ mental health providers
5. Treating addiction, in and out of jail
6. In rural areas, a ‘quiet jail boom’

Coverage of the sales tax increase and citizen feedback:

1. Tax hike for new jail?
2. Citizens give input at jail tax hearing
3. Villagers testify on jail plan
4. Jail tax headed to ballot

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