Jail cleared of any wrongdoing in inmate death

ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Jail has been cleared of any wrongdoing after a state investigation following the death of an inmate this fall.

The inmate, Monica Johnson, 38, of Bangor, was hospitalized after she was injured trying to hang herself in a jail cell.

Johnson was hospitalized at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center on Sept. 29 and died at the hospital Oct. 4, according to Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane.

“We got a passing grade on a very unfortunate situation,” Kane said.

Kane and Jail Administrator Timothy Richardson met Nov. 20 with two Maine Department of Corrections officials: Tom Olson, correction compliance monitor, and Vicki Burbank, compliance program specialist.

“We were fine,” Kane said, of the DOC investigation. “We were 100 percent in compliance. Olson was “very complimentary of Tim and [Lt.] Frank [Shepard] and the staff. They just made one note about mandatory standards.”

“We had a new employee on shift at the time who hadn’t completed his CPR training,” Kane said. “Because of the incident, he resigned.”

The job was “a little more than he wanted to deal with,” Kane said. “That’s a difficult situation for everybody.”

Brain injury caused by hanging led to the woman’s death, according to Kane.

Agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency had arrested Johnson on charges of drug possession and violating conditions of her release during a drug bust in Bucksport the evening of Sept. 21.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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