MADISON, Maine. (WABI) - Dale Lancaster had a goal when he was elected Sheriff back in 2015.
"Though this was my vision, my goal it was a collective effort that made this happen. From starting working with the county commissioners to my Jail Administrator to compliance officer to the staff here everyone had to work towards this goal and I'm very proud of them."
The Somerset County Jail has been nationally accredited by the American Correctional Association.
It also is the first jail in Maine to become certified under the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
"The staff has bought into it, they have seen the benefits that come from PREA and the American Correctional Association. They can say they are part of a nationally accredited association."
The mission of the jail is to provide a safe, humane and secure facility for both inmates and staff.
"Jails are more than just housing of inmates. It is very important that they are treated fairly, that we provide programming so when they assimilate back into the community, it's better for the community."
"We hear countless times from the inmates they feel safe here, they're treated fairly, the programming opportunities are exemplary and the reality is the majority of the inmates we house will be our neighbors again."
Multiple programs are provided in the jail, with the mission being able to provide skills and opportunities that they can use when they are released back into society.
"If we can better their chances of success, become productive tax paying citizens then we are all better off."