Much has been said in the press about the “evening sojourn” of two of the inmates in the Cumberland County Jail. It is true this was an inexcusable lapse by those in charge, officers on duty at the time and policies within the system. This should not happen and actions are being taken to prevent this from occurring again.
However, this was one event in a long history of safe, secure and proper handling of inmates. The jail was built in 1994 and since that time, very few events have transpired causing safety concerns. In the past year, the jail has housed 11,131 persons, some of whom are the “worst of the worst,” including Federal prisoners from around the country, murderers and rapists. The staff provides a safe, healthy environment for the inmates, often dealing with abusive situations.
In the past year, the county transported 6,252 adults to the County Courthouse, 13 to Bridgton Court, 12 to Bath Court and 417 juveniles to all courts for hearings, safely and without incident.
All too often, one negative event far exceeds the positives done by those who serve the public faithfully and safely every day, often putting their own lives and safety in harm’s way. You can rest assured the events leading to this “sojourn” will be investigated and remedied, but we should also keep in mind and thank the officers protecting our public safety in our jails and in the line of duty. They choose the profession of public safety and should be applauded for their choice and thanked for their service.
Susan Witonis, chairwoman
Cumberland County Board of Commissioners
Peter Crichton, Cumberland County manager