KENNEBEC COUNTY – The Kennebec County Sheriff is asking local police departments to stop making arrests for minor nonviolent offenses.
Sheriff Randall Liberty says the county jail is always overcrowded. He sees this as a common sense solution to save Maine city and town governments — and taxpayers — money.
Liberty says people arrested and put in jail for an unpaid fine or minor offense often ends up costing taxpayers more money in the long run.
“If the individual is a public safety risk, bring then to jail. If they’re a flight risk, bring them to jail. But if it’s a non-violent misdemeanor offense, that they can summons and see in court later, that’s what I’m asking them to do. Because in the end, any increase in the cost of the jail goes back to the towns.” Liberty stated.
Both the District Attorney and Defense Attorneys say they support what Sheriff Liberty is doing to ease jail overcrowding.