Tuesday, 11 December 2018 17:30

Possible plans for new Penobscot County Jail

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BANGOR- It's been almost 30 years since the Penobscot County Jail has been renovated.

It's been more than a year since Penobscot County Purchased the former YMCA on Hammond street, but no final decisions about the fate of the building have been made.

 

The county was originally discussing using the condemned building to expand the county jail.

 

Peter Baldacci, the Penobscot County Commissioner says the land is more valuable than the building.

 

"We've been looking at the best use for it or if any part can be salvaged. Generally, the concern is if we'll be able to salvage anything" said Baldacci. 

 

Right now, the Penobscot County Jail has a capacity for 157 inmates, but last year they averaged 194 inmates on a daily basis.

 

Sheriff Troy Morton says the capacity problems are not only making the job more difficult, but are also costing tax payers more than a million dollars a year.

 

He says the jail hasn't been renovated since 1989 and the county is in need of a new facility.

 

"Providing an adequate building so that law enforcement can quickly access the building and leave, returning police officers back to the street is extremely important." said Sheriff Morton.

 

There's been some debate over possible options

 

One option includes building a new jail in the lower parking lot behind the existing structure.

 

The old YCMA building would be torn down, with a new parking lot put in its place.

 

"I think its important to those businesses and residents along Hammond street, which would be much more user friendly to all of those and would allow us to keep our jail nearly where its located in downtown Bangor" said Sheriff Morton.

 

Commissioners are continuing to discuss different options.

 

"We hope that we can make some final decisions about how we handle this in the upcoming year" said county commissioner, Peter Baldacci.