PARIS – In addition to discussing the need for additional patrol deputies, Oxford County commissioners Tuesday talked about the need for more jail space. One suggested a regional jail.

“If we have too many inmates around the jail, the Department of Corrections sometimes will tell you you have an overcrowded jail – and a lot of times we’re borderline,” Commissioner Fred Kennard said.

On Monday, there were 51 inmates in the Oxford County Jail, according to Jail Administrator Capt. Ernest Martin. On Tuesday, that number had dropped to 44, but was still a little high for Martin’s liking.

“It’s rated for 27 beds,” he said of the jail, meaning that there are 27 individual rooms. An extra cot can be thrust into each, but the state prefers that no more than 50 inmates be kept in the jail at one time, he said.

During the commissioners meeting, Chairman Jim Carey Jr. said it would be nice if the state would take more prisoners.

“Eventually we’re going to have to bite the bullet and find a solution, and I hate to think of making that jail bigger,” he said.

Kennard suggested a regional jail. Such an endeavor was discussed between Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford and Somerset counties in June 2003.

He said he intends to talk about the jail problem with Oxford County Sheriff Skip Herrick.


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