Officers search for contraband inside Maine jail


    Officers did a quarterly search for contraband at the Cumberland County Jail Friday morning. (WGME)

    PORTLAND (WGME) -- As Maine deals with a rise in the number of drug overdose deaths, one county jail is working to eliminate drugs from inside its facility.

    Officers did a quarterly search for contraband at the Cumberland County Jail Friday morning.

    A search they say they would like to do more often to keep track of their ability to keep drugs out the jail.

    The full search begins with removing inmates from their cells.

    Officers and K-9s looked for items like drugs, homemade brew, and man-made weapons.

    With Maine’s overdose deaths higher than 400 in 2017, Sheriff Kevin Joyce said their primary goal is to keep drugs out.

    He says a lot of inmates are in jail not for using drugs, but for committing crimes to pay for their drug habit.

    Some feel jail is more safe than being on the streets but the sheriff says that should not be the case.

    "People shouldn't end up in jail to receive what they need for mental health treatment, or a drug rehabilitation treatment. They ought to be able to get it before they get in jail,” Joyce said. “We're never going to go out of business but the reality is there are people here that should not be here. They need to be fixed."

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