Knox County to move jail inmates to Wiscasset during HVAC work

A replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Knox County Jail causes the sheriff to send half of the inmates to another nearby jail.

Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll said about 30-35 inmates — about half of Knox County’s prison population — will be sent to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

To offset some of the additional cost, Knox County will send some of its corrections officers to Two Bridges.

“It can get hot out there quickly and we don’t want to create an uncomfortable situation, especially if there are delays[in completing the project],” Sheriff Carroll said.

The sheriff said he hopes the relocation of prisoners will not take more than a few months.

The Knox Prison was built in 1990-91 and opened in December 1991 and the HVAC system is the original. The system is not working properly and the municipality has decided to replace it. However, he said the replacement could take longer than expected as the contractors wait for parts.

In general, out-of-county prisons charge $65 per day per inmate, but with Knox County providing staff assistance, costs are expected to drop to $20 per day per inmate to cover things like added food. Two Bridges faces a staff shortage, as do Knox County and other prisons, Carroll said. Knox County sending staff will allow Two Bridges to open a locked prison pod.

The Knox staff were hesitant at first, but have since agreed to the change.

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