ELLSWORTH — A nonprofit that helps inmates recover from substance abuse could be allowed back in the Hancock County Jail starting Friday, seven months after the agency lost access over its support for Black Lives Matter.

County Commissioner Bill Clark, Healthy Acadia Executive Director Elsie Flemings and Sheriff Scott Kane met Monday morning.

Clark said Monday afternoon that as a result of Monday morning’s meeting, a memorandum agreement is being drafted and should be finalized by Friday.

Sheriff Kane canceled the contract after Healthy Acadia issued a June 10, 2020, statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Kane disagreed with allowing an organization in the jail that supports a movement that he says wants to harm law enforcement.

The Hancock County Commissioners met Saturday evening via Zoom, an online meeting platform.

“Fleming reached out to me and we’ve set a date 9 o’clock on Monday morning, that if we can get an agreement, she can start recovery coaching immediately,” Clark said Saturday. “I’m confident we will have recovery coaching by the end of the day [Monday].”


Commissioner Paul Paradis said he had talked to the sheriff earlier Saturday. He was “a perfect gentleman,” Paradis said.

“Kane will be making a public statement at beginning of the commissioners’ meeting,” on Tuesday [Feb. 2], said Paradis. “I view this as very positive and I want to thank the sheriff, Elsie Flemings and Chairman Clark” for the work in re-establishing recovery coaching.

Recovery coaches, according to Flemings, provide an opportunity for inmates to develop an action plan for their release as well as work on their recovery.

The organization posted statements last summer supporting Black Lives Matter and the racial justice movement and criticizing racism and police brutality. Kane characterized the movement as seeking to harm police.

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