Ohio Judge Tells Citizens to “Arm Themselves” after Cutbacks

Severe budget cutbacks have caused Ashtabula County in Ohio (Ohio’s largest county by area) to cut back its number of Sheriff’s deputies from 112 to 49. The sheriff stated that they no longer have the manpower to imprison all criminals in the county.

“I just can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I have to have the court explain to the commissioners and to me what my statutory duties are.”

The Ashtabula County Jail has confined as many as 140 prisoners. It now houses only 30 because of reductions in the staff of corrections officers.

Over 700 prisoners are on a waiting list to serve time in the future since the prison can’t handle any more. A County Common Pleas judge offered this advice to residents.

“Arm themselves,” the judge said. “Be very careful, be vigilant, get in touch with your neighbors, because we’re going to have to look after each other.”

Could this be a sign of things to come as more cities and towns face severe budget cuts?

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