Piscataquis jail receives high marks from state

Posted Jan. 05, 2011, at 12:34 a.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Piscataquis County Jail fared well in its most recent inspection for compliance with state standards, considering it is a small and older facility.

The jail received an overall rating of 98.4 percent from an inspection done in August and September, according to jail administrator Dave Harmon.

Harmon, who received the results of the inspection this week, said the county scored 100 percent on the 121 mandatory standards and missed only four of the 122 essential standards.

“It’s a very good score,” Ralph Nichols, the Maine Department of Corrections’ director of operations, said Tuesday. “It’s not just the physical plant — it’s operations as well” that are checked.

The Piscataquis County Jail had been one of the county jails targeted for closure under the state’s consolidation plan but later was spared from the process because of the revenues it generated.

Harmon said the county jail had a score in the 70 percent to 75 percent range in 2003, meaning much work has been done since then to comply with the state standards.

“I was very pleased,” Harmon said Tuesday after viewing the final report. “The corrections officers and the supervisor are a big portion of why we get such a good rating and why we have such high standards and … why our federal counterparts think so highly of us.”

As a result of the inspection, the jail was issued a license to continue operating through Dec. 31, 2012, according to Harmon.

Harmon said the four essential standards that the jail was out of compliance with have been addressed. One example was that jail officials failed to carry a log in an emergency medical bag to show that its contents were checked regularly, he said.

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