Maine Data Glimpse: Incarceration Rates and Annual Admissions to County Jails, 2015

Nationwide, the number of people in jails rose by 400% between 1970 and 2014. In 2015 in Maine, more than 190 per 100,000 residents were incarcerated in jails on a given day, and more than 4,500 per 100,000 residents were admitted to jail during the year.

There is considerable inter-county variability in incarceration rates, even though annual admissions are relatively uniform across counties.

o Because pretrial incarceration is a significant share of jail populations, this is not necessarily just a function of differences in the adjudication process.

o These county differences may be due to unequal distributions of populations more likely to commit more serious crimes, differential ability to make bail across places, or differences in county justice systems, among other possibilities.

Androscoggin and Washington Counties admit at high rates, but incarcerate at about the statewide average rate. Somerset admits and incarcerates above average rates, while Lincoln admits at about average rates but incarcerates at far above average.