PARIS — Sheriff Christopher Wainwright told Oxford County commissioners Tuesday that his department has agreed to another six-month boarding contract with Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

As of Monday, there were 28 Oxford County inmates at the jail, according to a list compiled by the county.

In June, commissioners raised concerns that the contract extension could be jeopardized by the closure of a 48-bed pod of cells at the Wiscasset jail after it lost a $1 million boarding contract with Waldo County earlier this year.

According to Wainwright, the cost of housing inmates at the jail has remained the same, despite a fluctuating monthly headcount.

At a commissioners’ meeting in October, Wainwright said that what he perceived as “light” sentence recommendations handed down from the District Attorney’s office were resulting in an influx of inmates serving nine-month sentences.

According to the previous reporting, in September, seven prisoners were given nine-month sentences and sent to Wiscasset per a month-to-month contract with Oxford County, he said.

“Our headcount is going up, and we’re being charged for a higher headcount, and costs for boarding,” he told commissioners. “Our complaint was that it seemed a ton of prisoners were being given nine-month sentences, or consecutive three or four-month sentences. It comes directly out of our cost because nine months and a day goes to the state,” Wainwright said Oct. 15.

But the price for the boarding agreement won’t rise this negotiation period, and, according to Wainwright, that’s good news.

“That’s good news, because some months our numbers have been up there. Bad news could have been if they charged us more, or worse news could have been if they didn’t want to keep (the inmates),” he said Tuesday.

According to the sheriff, the plan to turn the Oxford County Jail into a full-service facility is continuing. Jail Administrator Dana Dillingham and Wainwright recently received estimates from medical providers and food vendors.

According to Wainwright, replacing the HVAC system in the jail will need to be completed before inmates move in.


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