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By: The Editorial Board
“Maine faces a severe prisoner population problem. The number of inmates incarcerated in … county jails has grown far beyond expectations in recent years, stressing the capacity of existing facilities and showing no sign of slowing down.”
This statement could have been made yesterday by a county sheriff or state correctional official.
It was not. Rather, it is from the opening page of a 2004 report by Report of the Commission to Improve the Sentencing, Supervision, Management and Incarceration of Prisoners.
More than 15 years later, another task force on holding inmates who are awaiting trial has been reconvened. A task force that looked at improving the county jail funding system recently completed a report. Meanwhile, the number of inmates who have mental health and substance use concerns continues to swell.