A deputy's impromptu inspection of Columbiana County's privately-run jail discovered eight cells where inmates were able to open the door and roam around at will, according to a report filed with the sheriff's department.

The discovery was made by County Sheriff's Detective Steve Walker who said he was dropping off a prisoner and decided to walk through the jail because of what he characterized as “the quantity and severity of ongoing problems with inmates”.

According to his report filed with the Sheriff's Department, Detective Walker said when he checked to make sure that inmates were locked in their cells, he found eight occupied cells with socks stuffed into the latches, allowing prisoners to free themselves from cells whenever they wished.

“It was clear that the jail staff was not checking the cell doors after lockdown as they should be to maintain jail security,” Walker writes in the report.

According to Walker's report, his discovery coincides with information that the inmates have been roaming freely in the evening and at night, allowing assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies of other inmates.

The 200-bed jail is being operated by the GEO Group under a contract from the county.

According to its website, GEO is a private company that manages or owns 141 correctional, detention and community reentry facilities around the United States.

As of late Thursday morning, 21 News was still waiting for the Columbiana County Commissioners to respond to our request for reaction to the jail report.