Corrections Agreement in Principle
January 29, 2008
The Department of Corrections and the Sheriffs and County Commissioners
Associations have reached an agreement in principle to improve the delivery
of corrections in Maine. The agreement in principle is as follows:
Corrections Agreement in Principle
- State Board of Corrections
A State Board of Corrections is created.
- The Board consists of 9 members.
- One representative will be a sheriff selected from a list
of 3 nominations submitted to the Governor
by a statewide organization representing Sheriffs.
- One representative will be a county commissioner selected
from a list of 3 nominations submitted
to the Governor by a statewide organization representing
- Two representatives will be representatives of the State.
- Five representatives will be chosen at-large by the Governor.
- All representatives will be appointed by the Governor and
are subject to confirmation by the Joint
Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
- Duties: The Board will have the following duties:
- Determine individual facility use (including location of
Mental Health specialty unit(s), women’s
units, etc.) and appropriate staffing
levels at each facility.
- Set yearly growth limit for each county and approve any
budget requests to exceed set limit.
- Create uniform policy and procedures for consistent system-wide
pre-trial, revocation and re-entry practices.
- Establish a “Certificate of Need” process for
any future state or county capital construction
- Implement—where appropriate—bulk purchasing
of commodities and services.
- Develop a plan for deploying a system-wide information
- Work within established timeframe to achieve systemic cost
savings through jail use or other efficiencies.
Any cost savings achieved will be re-invested in the system,
placed into a reserve for future capital needs, or to the
extent possible, sent back to the taxpayers as property tax
- Focus on re-investment strategies in system to achieve
better outcomes for offenders.
- Assist counties with working toward national accreditation.
- Set a fixed boarding rate for the system with a goal of
eventually eliminating boarding costs.
- Report at least annually to the Joint Standing Committee
on Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- Corrections Working Group
An informal working group consisting of representatives of the Department
of Corrections, Sheriffs and County Commissioners will be established.
The group will meet regularly to engage in information sharing
and to discuss and resolve any issues or problems experienced in
daily operation of the corrections system.
- Department of Corrections
- Under this plan, the Department of Corrections is responsible
- Managing offender bed space throughout the system. Counties
will report available bed space daily to the DOC.
- Carrying out directives of the Board of Corrections.
- Recommending a plan for the future use and need for correctional
facilities and re-investment strategies to the Board
- Recommending uniform policies and procedures for pre-trial,
revocation and re-entry services to the Board of Corrections.
- Inspecting and investigating county facilities consistent with
- Approving of Mental Health placements.
- Staffing the Board of Corrections.
- The State will pay the counties’ current debt service
of $10.25 million.
- The State will restore $4.6 million of the subsidy to the counties
for FY09 (achieved by eliminating $3.1 million
cost to board State inmates with the counties and $1.5 million
in reductions to DOC budget).
- The counties will provide 100 beds to the State without charge
effective July 1, 2008.
- The State will freeze counties’ property tax assessments
for jail services at the 2008 budgeted jail costs not
including debt service.
- The baseline for Somerset County assessment is the operational
and maintenance costs of the new facility when opened.
- The State will assume the cost for future growth to the corrections
- When the system can accommodate federal boarders, a county
will maintain any revenue it receives for the boarders.
- The State Board of Corrections will have its own budget line.
The Community Corrections Act money and subsidy will be removed
from the Department of Corrections budget and transferred
to the State Board of Corrections for distribution.