County leadership needs to hear from you!
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Sign our petition to say no to jail expansion!
On Nov. 15, 2021, Penobscot County requested proposals for renovating the Penobscot County Jail. Proposals “must accommodate an average daily inmate population of at least 260, with the ability to expand to a daily population of 360.” That's more than double the jail’s current capacity of 157.
We, the signers of this petition, believe the expansion of the jail is unnecessary and counterintuitive in solving the crises we are seeing in Penobscot County, including poverty, mental health crises, homelessness, and drug overdose deaths.
Further, jails cause documented harm, including trauma, disconnection from community supports, family separation, medical risks, and the loss of jobs, homes, and health insurance. Additionally, a bigger jail won't make us safer; more incarceration has almost no impact on crime, and can even increase crime.
The United States incarcerates vastly more of its population, by percentage, than any other country. In fact, there are now two million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years. The last thing we need is more space to lock people up.
Instead, we insist that Penobscot County invest in solutions, including supportive housing, expanded mental health and crisis stabilization services, bail reform, diversion and transformative justice.