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This report summarizes the findings from an analysis of 2016 census data obtained from the Cumberland and Aroostook County jails. This analysis was performed by the Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) located at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine with the objective of learning who is in jail, why they are there (awaiting trial or serving a sentence), and how long they stay.

Maine has a total of 15 county jails, which house both pretrial individuals who are awaiting trial as well as convicted individuals who have been sentenced to a short period (nine months or less) of confinement. While the ACLU’s interest in this topic encompasses all of Maine’s jailed population, practical considerations required restricting this initial research to two of Maine’s sixteen counties. Aroostook and Cumberland counties were chosen because the sheriffs of these counties responded quickly to the ACLU’s request for participation—a necessary component to this research—and because together they are representative of both northern and southern Maine as well as rural and urban counties


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