YORK COUNTY, Maine — Advocates are calling for the early release of some inmates at the York County Jail over what they are calling a "dangerous" environment.
There are a total of 72 cases of COVID-19 tied to the jail, according to the Maine CDC. That includes 46 inmates, 19 staff members, and seven close contacts.
The Maine Prisoners Advocacy Coalitions is urging county officials to consider releasing non-dangerous offenders from the facility. The nonprofit has been in contact with families of inmates over the recent spread of the virus.
“For me when I think of somebody being inside I can imagine that people are in solitary confinement like conditions,” MPAC’s Director Joseph Jackson told NEWS CENTER Maine.
The jail outbreak, which is linked to the Aug. 7 wedding in Millinocket that's associated with 147 cases statewide, was first announced weeks ago. Jail officials said they have placed those who tested positive in quarantine, but that has not stopped it from spreading. Eight more inmates in a different section of the jail tested positive this week.
“I just feel like we have to think about what accountability looks like at a time when our nation's in crisis,” Jackson said.
There are currently 106 inmates being housed at the jail, according to county officials. No new inmates are being admitted.