What are Inmate Records in Maine?
Inmate records are documents that detail information relating to an inmate housed in any correctional facility in Maine, including county jails and state prisons. Per the Maine Freedom of Information Act, Inmate records provide the public with the opportunity to look into the status of an inmate within the corrections system. Information often contained in the inmate's record includes their names, age, date of birth, charges, sentencing, facility in which they are located, race, height, and sometimes a photograph.
Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:
- The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
- The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.
Facilities Operated by the Maine Department of Corrections
The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) provides administrative oversight over the correctional institutions in Maine, including 6 adult institutions and 2 juvenile corrections centers. The MDOC runs an industry program that provides its services to the general public and other government bodies in various areas such as engraving, license plates, embroidery, woodshop, upholstery, garments, wood harvesting, and reupholstery. For more information, an interested person may contact the MDOC at:
Maine Department of Corrections
25 Tyson Drive, 3rd floor
State House Station 111
Augusta, ME 04333-0111
Phone: (207) 287-2711
Maine Correctional Center
17 Mallison Falls Road Windham
Phone: (207) 893-7000
Downeast Correctional Facility
64 Base Road
Machiasport ME 04655
Phone: (207) 255-1100
Mountain View Correctional Facility
1182 Dover Road
Charleston, ME 04422
Phone: (207) 285-0880
Bolduc Correctional Facility
25 Tyson Drive, 3rd floor
House Station 111 Augusta,
Phone: (207) 287-2711
Southern Maine Women Re-Entry Center
230 River Road
Windham, ME 04062
Phone: (207) 893-7132
Fax: (207) 893-7179
Maine State Prison
Cushing Road Warren
Phone: (207) 273-5300
How to Send Money to an Inmate in Maine Prison and Jail
Money can be sent to inmates electronically through the Money Deposit Service (MDS) to the inmate's commissary account or phone account. However, an inmate cannot receive more than $100 weekly in these accounts. Furthermore, it takes three business days to process these payments, after which inmates can access them. These payments are non-refundable.
Meanwhile, people who wish to send money to inmates must register with their name and email address on the MDS website to initiate the process. Furthermore, the sender must know the inmate's full name, MDOC number, and birth date.
There are specific guidelines for sending money to inmates in county jails. Generally, local county sheriff offices determine the rules and procedures for sending money to inmates. Interested persons must contact the jail administrative staff where an offender is incarcerated for information on sending money to an inmate.
How to Visit an Inmate in Maine Prison and Jail
Persons who wish to visit inmates in Maine must follow the Maine prisons visitation guide. Generally, all intending visitors to state prisons are required to complete an application form. This form can be obtained from the inmate to be visited, the jail's lobby officer, or an online visitor's application form.
Once an application gets approved, the applicant must then schedule a visit using the visit schedule form or by calling (207) 273-5526 during business hours. Alternatively, the individual may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org between Mondays and Wednesdays to schedule a visitation.
Meanwhile, visitation rules for county jails are different from state prisons and vary from county to county. For example, the York County jail, which is under the jurisdiction of the sheriff's office, offers visitation rules on its website. Likewise, Cumberland County Jail provides its own rules for inmate visits.
How to Perform an Inmate Search in a Maine State Prison
The MDOC is in charge of the records of its inmates and provides the means to conduct an inmate search through its Adult prisoner and probationer search service. This service lets interested persons perform a free inmate search by name and obtain publicly available records on active adults Maine prison inmates. The records of juvenile inmates are not public records in the state of Maine and, as such, are not included in this search. Persons interested in conducting an inmate lookup should fill out the online adult inmate search form and provide as much information as possible to narrow the search results.
How to Perform an Inmate Search in a Maine County Jail
Inmate searches in county jails differ from inmate searches in Maine state prisons. County jails, unlike prisons, are under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff's office. The process regarding a county jail inmate lookup differs depending on the county where the inmate is located.
For example, Cumberland County has a list of its inmates published online. Interested parties can use the inmate search list to find a person in jail. York County requires that an interested party call (207) 324-9001 and initiate a search regarding an inmate.
The Difference between Maine State Prisons and County Jail
Maine state prisons and county jails are operated by the Maine Department of Corrections. The department is responsible for the custody and supervision of all prisoners in the state. It also provides services to help offenders re-enter society and reduce recidivism.
Maine has a total of eight state prisons, which are located in Windham, Warren, Portland, Thomaston, Machias, Charleston, and Bangor. There is also one privately operated prison in the state, which is located in Waterville. In addition to these facilities, there are also 13 county jails in Maine.
The average daily population of Maine state prisons was 4,370 in 2017. The majority of inmates are incarcerated for non-violent offenses such as drug possession or theft. However, there is a growing population of inmates serving time for more serious offenses such as robbery, assault, and murder.
The recidivism rate in Maine is relatively low when compared to other states. In 2016, only 27% of offenders released from prison were re-arrested within three years. This is significantly lower than the national average of 43%.
Maine state prisons and county jails offer a variety of programs and services to help offenders successfully reintegrate into society upon release. These include educational opportunities, job training, and substance abuse treatment. The state also offers a number of support services for prisoners' families, which can play a vital role in an inmate's successful reentry into the community.
How to Find an Inmate Release Date
Interested persons may obtain this information directly from the jail administrator or by performing an inmate search online. However, it is common for record custodians to seal this information for privacy or security reasons. In such cases, only eligible persons will have access to the exact inmate release date. These eligible persons include the inmate's immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized law enforcement officials. At best, interested members of the public will only see the month and year of release.