Oxford County jail gets perfect inspection score
by Christopher Crosby, Staff Writer Sun Journal March 18, 2014
PARIS — The Oxford County Jail passed a state inspection, extending its license for another two years even as long-term discussions over its mission remain unresolved.
In a memo, jail Administrator Capt. Edward Quinn, who presented the findings to county officials Tuesday morning, wrote that the perfect rating was due to the diligence of the staffs' daily routine.
Released on Monday, the inspection report by the Maine Department of Corrections found the facility clean and in compliance with all state statutes.
Jails must fully comply with all state statutes in order to receive licensing. The report, which catalogs everything from evacuation plans to cleanliness and the ambient temperature of each room, is conducted every two years. The report included a certificate authorizing the jail to hold up to 27 inmates until March 31, 2017.
The inspection comes amid discussions over the long-term future of the state's jail system. As a 72-hour holding facility, the county jail transports any inmates who either cannot post or are denied bail to jails in Portland, Wiscasset or Auburn.
By the summer, that situation could begin to change.
When Maine's 15 county jails were consolidated in 2008, Oxford County Jail was downgraded from full-time to a temporary holding facility.
Funding for the entire system was split between the counties and the state, with three counties, including Oxford, making payments to the state, and others receiving funding from the Board of Corrections, which was formed to oversee system.
At the same time, jail funding was capped at 2009 levels, effectively flat-funding the system, with the state making up the difference.
However, costs have risen and the Board of Corrections, designated to appropriate jail funding, doesn't have enough members to meet, resulting in a $2.5 million shortfall. An emergency stop-gab bill has since been approved.
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