October 18, 2017
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Comments for: Maine’s county jail system facing crowding, challenges and criticism

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  • Anonymous

    Crowded?  Oh well, let them have at it, not our fault they are inconvenienced with their overcrowded  accomodations.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not the people incarcerated that are at risk; I don’t think anybody cares if they are inconvenienced.   It is the safety of the corrections officers that is a concern.

    • Anonymous

      No it isn’t our fault, I say its fine to overcrowd them BUT they need more staff. This one guard to 100 inmates is not ok. Give them the staff to at least insure the safety of the ones dealing with the inmates. I don’t really care about the inmates getting their butts kicked, it is the staff and the public I worry about. 

  • Anonymous

    Had they gone with Baldacci’s plan rather than the sheriff and county commissioners version of how to run things then jail/prison consolidation might well have worked.   Unfortunately the local lads screwed around with things and now it doesn’t work.  Baldacci was right, the counties were spending way too much on jails and something had to be done.  Perhaps now they will reconsider the original Baldacci plan.

    •  Baldacci’s plan was more screwed up.

  • Anonymous

    It never fails, the bigger the government entity, the less efficient it is run.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t vote for those in the system right now.

  • Stop locking people up for victimless crimes.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the same situation with the Maine Prison System (different than County Jails); specifically, I am talking about the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, Maine.  I know somebody that is there for driving offenses who is in maximum security  because there is no room in the area he should be in.  He screwed up and needs to serve time, but I am sure that the $ per day factor is higher for maximum security prisoners than it is for minimum.

     They need to stop putting people in jail for growing  marijauna; it is a victimless crime and should be LEGAL, period.  That would free up a lot of space and resources. 

    While I’m at it, I will also say that they need to keep people who have violated a protection order IN JAIL… those are the dangerous ones. 

    •  No unless he is classified as maximum security inmate then the cost is the same as the other prisoners.

      • Anonymous

        I was assuming that they have a higher ratio of staff to guests in the maximum security area, thus costing more $

  • Anonymous

     Stop locking people up for victimless crimes and using the jails as a shelter for the mentally ill and drug addicted. Solved.

    • Old Bear

  • This issue may have started with the previous Gov., but it’s been elevated to a new level under the new. Summing it up; jails don’t have money to pay operating costs and they close housing units. Some who would be locked up are now let go and return to your neighborhoods. Some of the other “innocent until proven guilty” are moved into cells in State Prisons and into cells with the convicted and under the same limitations on liberties as those convicted at the state level. This is currently occurring at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham and the Maine State Prison in Warren. It’s not a complicated matter, just uncoordinated by our leaders incompetence. The legislature restricts the budget on the capability for incarceration, but the courts increase convictions? The results will always be early release, overcrowding, more violent jails and prisons, higher recidivism, and more jeopardy placed on the citizens of this State.

    • Anonymous

      Replace the sheriffs, contract them, if they do not produce, fire them.  The midcoast could use some educated, not experience, people who care about taxpayers, not just vote getters.

  • Anonymous

    I am so tired of County Sheriff’s trying to build their financial Empires on the backs of Taxpayers. They whine all the time about over crowding. Most of  the people locked up are on misdemeanor charges, cant afford the fine charges, traffic charges or minor marijuana charges. How about an ankle bracelet and send these people home to be monitored. Maine can’t afford to build these new Castles for the Local Sheriff’s of Nottingham’s to use for their pleasure and enrichment.

    •  Electronic monitoring costs alot of money. The equipment needed, training and enforcement.

  • Anonymous

    Makes PERFECT sense and saves a ton of money (NOT) to send people all the way from the Houlton Hilton to York  for jail- BRILLIANT !!! Well done county Sheriffs and county commissioners- you all were dimwitted enough to get yourselves into this mess you better plan on getting yourselves out of the mess without any assistance from the Maine tax payers.   Any of you ever take a course on business management ??   Apparently not as evidenced by your fiscal and administrative bumbling…….the next time a deputy pulls you over and asks ‘do you know why I stopped you?’….you can honestly reply…’because you got all D’s in high school?’

    • Anonymous

      Bravo, good points!  I know of a couple of sheriffs, and I hesitate to use that term because they are more politicians than anything else, who need education…….elected because they know more people than the other candidate does, yes folks I am talking about the midcoast.  Time for new sheriffs, not spenders.  I overheard a conversation once from one of the sheriffs during a budget meeting, telling the jail administrator not to sweat it because the sheriff had purposely bloated the amount requested so that they could get approved at a level that was really needed.  Quite a revelation from a LAW-enforcement official, the honesty there is a matter of course in that organization.

    • Anonymous

      This was not all done buy the county Sheriffs ( Read the article )   it was started by Gov. Baldacci to take control of all jail’s, like he did the schools. We all see how that is working out. This was bastard child that resulted from it.  The bottom line is we need to hold people accountable for their actions and it’s going to cost us!     

      • Anonymous

        Ummmm I DID read the article.  Do you work for the Sheriff’s department?  
        ‘In August 2007, Baldacci proposed a full state takeover of the county jail system and the closure of four small jails, including those in Franklin and Oxford counties. State corrections officials argued that counties were spending too much money on jails and that the state could do better.
        The counties pushed back.
        Sheriffs, commissioners and legislators came up with an alternative plan that would stitch the county jails together into a network they called “One Maine, One System…..’
        ‘The state promised $1 billion in savings to Maine property taxes over 20 years.
        The new system kicked off on July 1, 2009.’

        •  Not working so good is it? The state prison in Warren has empty beds but won’t allow the prisoners they shipped out to the counties back because they dont have the staffing because officers have quit over how they were treated.

  • Anonymous

    Reluctance to talk about the Augusta guru’s is glaring in that article.  State mandates to the County jails without money to implement is common.  Sound familiar?  Sort of like taxation without representation to use an analogy.  Then comes the guru’s with their big heads full of power to inspect a mandate, and you have more chaos.  Augusta bloats, another issue is the Court Protection system, wow, you talk about bloating, but thats another story.

  • Anonymous

    the sherifs dont want to put their officers in harms way.That different then Ponte he does not care about those that work for state facilities.The state systm is in chaos also. Im all for saving money but not at workers safety. Ponte is nothing but a hatchet man same as lehman was a few administrations ago.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s one solution:  Quit arrresting people for the fun of it and just crack down on the serious offenders.   I worked at a correctional facility in maine and the majority were in there for something stupid like being on probation and in possession of Ibuprofen or something….don’t we have anything better to prosecute than that?

  • Guest

    …..

  • Anonymous

    wouldn’t it be nice if we had a shortage of —–INMATES !

  • Anonymous

    This is Everywhere USA.  Parenting begins at home.  If more parents would try harder to guide their kids to a happy and educated life, then we would not have this over crowding problem in jails.  Drug dealers are as bad as those convicted of murder and should get the same sentences.
    Start sending messages from the judges in the courts.  

  • Anonymous

    Reinstate the death penalty and that will reduce the overcrowding problem.They need tougher penalities not just a slap on the wrist.but if the higher ups and lawmakers get a slap on the wrist whats sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

    • Guest

      ….

      • Anonymous

        surely cut down on over crowding and taxpayers spending money on them

        • Guest

          ……

  • How about we start with the bail system in Maine, it needs serious changes. Each bail commissioner is different and sets the bail to what they think is apporiate. Stop issueing warrants for unpaid fines and fees esp if its under 500 dollars. Put liens on the peoples welfare benefits, tax returns, houses and cars and licneses. Change some of the crimes to summons only. I work in corrections and I’m sick of the cops in my area arresting people just to get them on bail conditions so they have an excuse to arrest them later and keep them in jail because they are suspected of commiting something greater but have no proof.

  • Also another thing bothering me is if someone commits a crime in the state prison system they shouldnt be housed at the county level until the case is heard. Even if their release date comes up they should be housed in the state facility. Probation violators should be housed in the state prisons as they are technically on a state sentence. County jails should be for true pre trial and convicted and sentenced to under 9 and a day. They shouldn’t be used as baby sitters for the states problem children.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is not overcrowding in the jails. That is the end result of the real problem. The real issue is a very, very, very slow legal system. There was a study done a few years ago that showed that compared to the rest of the nation, people in Maine spend six times longer locked up in a pre-trial situation. Six times as long. So, it’s not rocket science to figure that a person spending that much extra time in jail before even going to court to get sentenced is going to cost more money. What needs to be done is to kick these lawyers and judges in the rear end and make them put these cases through faster. People’s rights to a speedy and fair trial are being violated, and it is costing taxpayers piles of money to have these people sit in jail waiting to go to trial. All the while, the judges and lawyers work banker’s hours or less, and the taxpayer picks up the tab for it. Instead of looking at the results of the problem, we might want to give the cause a closer look. Then, the results will change. 

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