Problems with people lingering in Cleveland’s jails without being charged with a crime has prompted a new policy that calls for city police to charge or release suspects within 36 hours after their arrest, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The directive from Chief Michael McGrath is designed to help officers comply with a judicial order enacted earlier this month to bring suspects before a judge within 48 hours of arrest or earlier.
Municipal Judge Ronald Adrine said the municipal court has long had a policy that people should have their first court appearance within 24 hours. In the last two years, an increasing number of people havebeen jailed for longer than 48 hours without being charged. Adrine found a model in Seminole County, Fl., that could be adapted to Cleveland’s needs. The new policy is already paying dividends. Adrine said Cleveland has begun to see a reduction in its jail population. He said police and city officials have fully cooperated with his efforts to get suspects into court promptly.