* 23  W. High St. ~ P.O. Box 558 ~ London, Ohio 43140 ~ PH: (740) 852-1332 ~ FX: (740) 852-7125 *


Link to Tri-County Regional Jail

The End of an Era

The opening of the Tri-County Regional Jail on December 08, 2000 marked the end of an era in Madison County.  Since the county was organized in the early 1800’s, the county jail was always located adjacent to the county courthouse.  Two previous courthouses had come and gone by 1890, both lost by fire.  In 1890 a new fireproof courthouse and Sheriff’s Office was opened at the corner of Main St. and High St. in London.

 The Sheriff’s Office building was built on the South-East corner of the courthouse square.  The two-story building was separated into two Click heresections.  One section comprised the county jail.  This wing held both male and female prisoners, as well as juvenile offenders.  The other wing consisted of the Sheriff’s residence.  It was a common practice in Ohio for the Sheriff to live at the jail.  This was so the prisoners would not be left unattended in the days when a county might only have one or two deputies.  The Sheriff’s wife usually acted as the jail cook andClick here matron for women prisoners.  This practice continued in the smaller counties as late as the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, but is for the most part now a historical side note in the Ohio Sheriffs’ history.  The Madison County Sheriff moved out of the residence in the early 1980’s and the residence became offices for the county prosecutor and Sheriff’s Investigators.

 Once two-way radio came to Madison County, a small base station was placed in an office   between the two sections of the Sheriff’s Office.  By now a Deputy Sheriff was generally assigned to “sit desk”.  When deputies sat the desk they ran the jail, monitored the radio and answered the telephones.  When a call for service came in, the deputy would tell the Sheriff he was leaving and take the call.  Incoming calls would be transferred to the residence side and the Sheriff or his wife would answer the phone and watch the jail. 

 In 1976, a new wing was added to the Sheriff’s Office.  A new Click hereadministrative office and hallway cellblock was added.  The administrative office moved out of the Courthouse and the entire Sheriff’s Office was now comprised in one building.  A new jail office and communications center were placed in the new section, but the jail deputy was generally still responsible for jail and radio.  Full-timeClick here dispatcher’s were soon hired and the communications center moved out of the jail office.  The jail deputy was relieved of dispatching duties, except to serve as a back-up when the dispatcher needed a break or assistance. 

 The hallway cellblock increased the jail capacity to 26 adults.  The two 1890 era cellblocks, however, were growing too small by 1990.  New jail Click herestandards required much more space, corrections staff and programs that the old jail was not able to provide.  By the mid 1990’s, the average daily population was 31.  The cell blocks were cramped, offered little room for expansion and were poorly ventilated.  In response to this need, Madison County officials began searching for an answer.  That answer came when Madison, Union, and Champaign County pooledClick here their funds and built a regional three-county jail in Mechanicsburg in Champaign County.  This new jail is larger, offers room for expansion, and is capable of delivering more court-ordered services to inmates.  The end came on December 08, 2000 when Madison County jail deputies transported two convoys of inmates to the new facility.  (Juvenile offenders had been moved out in the 1980’s when state law required juveniles to be held separate from adult offenders.)    

Although the jail ended on December 08, 2000, the Sheriff’s Office Click hereremained.  Renovation is nearing completion on a three-month project to expand the Sheriff’s Office.  The 1890 cellblocks were partially torn out for file and storage space.  The communications center, which was moved out of the jail office in 1992 wasClick here moved back as the jail office location was larger and provided a more secure location.  The hallway cellblock was refurbished and is used for day holding of inmates who are making court appearances in the Courthouse.  A Court Services Office was opened in an old supply room. Projects currently underway include a new Sheriff’s personal office and the patrol deputy’s office.  



These WebPages are designed and updated by Lt. Douglas Lillie of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
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