BANGOR – The Penobscot County sheriff says the county jail is overcrowded with inmates, far exceeding the state’s population limits on a daily basis.

The state capacity for the Bangor-area jail is 157 inmates. Sheriff Troy Morton says an average number of 210 inmates are housed in the jail.

Morton says the opioid epidemic is a factor in the jail’s crowding, and he says a vast majority of the inmates suffer from opioid addictions.

Morton says nearly three-fourths of the inmates are awaiting trial, a process that can sometimes take months or years.

The jail has started moving inmates to other county jails, but it will cost the county nearly $2 million a year to do that.

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