July 17, 2013

Federal official: Maine's county jail system is 'terminal'

He says too many jails are in disrepair, warehousing inmates who are more dangerous than before, and staffed by guards with low morale.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — An expert from the U.S. Department of Justice says Maine's system of county jails is in crisis.

Rod Miller told Maine's Board of Corrections on Tuesday that the jails are "trying to do too much with too little."

He said too many Maine jails are in disrepair, warehousing inmates who are more dangerous than before, and staffed by guards with increasingly low morale. He says not every jail faces such problems, but as a whole, they are failing.

The Sun Journal reports that Miller said if Maine's jails were a medical patient, they would be "terminal."

Miller met with the board after visiting 15 jails over a three-week period at the board's request.

He says the solution is better funding.

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