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Whistleblower returns; Maine a prison-reform model
On Valentine's Day, prisoner Deane Brown, who sounded an alarm that drew international attention to the savagery of solitary confinement and other abuses in the Maine State Prison's "supermax" unit, was returned to the Warren prison after an exile of mo
| March 22, 2013
Brown, ailing, to return soon
Prisoner Deane Brown should be back in Maine within two to three weeks, the Maine Department of Corrections notified his attorney on January 4.
| January 11, 2013
Prison whistleblower to return to Maine
Maine corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has notified Deane Brown, the inmate whistleblower who in 2005 was the original source for the Phoenix 's lengthy series on prison abuse, that he will be allowed to return to Maine.
| December 28, 2012
Whistle-blower asks to come home
In 2011 reform-minded Commissioner Joseph Ponte of the Maine Department of Corrections set up a formal process — apparently, rare in the United States — for prisoners transferred to out-of-state prison systems to apply to come home.
| September 28, 2012
'No-touch torture' in New Jersey
Deane Brown, a Maine inmate shipped out of state because of his criticism of the Maine State Prison, is now being held in New Jersey in "one of the most repressive" prison units in the country, often reserved for "political" or activist prisoners like
Maine Whistleblower Watch
| January 28, 2011
Seeking humane treatment
Some Maine people are taking moral responsibility for the way supermax inmates are treated.
State and national efforts well under way
| February 19, 2010
Screams from solitary
The 132-man supermax unit within the 925-man Maine State Prison is an expensive, taxpayer-funded torture chamber that for 18 years has sucked in mostly nonviolent, mostly mentally ill prisoners and ground them up by means of mind-destroying solitary conf
‘By dehumanizing prisoners, we dehumanize ourselves.’
| February 19, 2010
Thank you for the timely interview with Harvey Silverglate.
Letters to the Portland Editor, October 9, 2009
PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS
| October 09, 2009
Prison ‘troublemaker’ confronts racism, medical abuse
Vacillating between grit and despair — between aggressive lawsuits and suicide attempts — Deane Brown, the prisoner who in 2005 blew the whistle on the torture of mentally ill inmates at the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement “Supermax” unit, is s
| September 11, 2009
Three years and counting
For the past three years, Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley has been the only reporter in Maine to pay attention to the appalling conditions suffered by inmates in the Maine State Prison
The Portland Phoenix' s prison scoops keep piling up
PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF
| November 05, 2008
A threat, but not to security
Maine prisoner Deane Brown, 44, is no longer in solitary confinement, though he remains far from Maine.
Deane Brown battles on
| September 03, 2008
Judge orders injections for Maine prisoner
A Maryland court has ordered Maine prisoner Deane Brown to be forcibly injected with insulin, if necessary.
| April 23, 2008
Are the prisons overcrowded?
I am asking the whole Legislative Committee to physically go and inspect the prison to ascertain how much bed space is there.
Letters to the Portland editor: February 15, 2008
LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR
| February 13, 2008
Exiled Maine prisoners report abuse, danger
Maine corrections officials and Governor John Baldacci refuse to comment on them or the state’s responsibility for their care.
| September 26, 2007
Group seeks to hold Maine to UN standard
Next week Portland-based prison activists will be knocking on Munjoy Hill doors.
| August 29, 2007
The 10th Annual Muzzle Awards
Mitt Romney will say or do anything if he thinks it will help him become president.
Silencing free speech
| July 10, 2007
Maine prison bosses violate court orders
In the activist climate of an earlier era, a Maine legal-aid group brought and won three prisoner-rights lawsuits against state corrections officials.
Department of Corrections ignores federal rulings going back to the 1970s
| June 27, 2007
Press behind bars
As a reporter, I can attest that the rules the state agreed to in the 1970s on news-media access to prisoners have been violated by the Corrections Department in its recent practices.
| June 27, 2007
Inmate sues prison officials in federal court
Did the Maine Department of Corrections violate the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee by keeping inmate and human-rights activist Deane Brown from contact with the news media?
First amendment watch
| May 18, 2007
Letters to the Portland editor: May 4, 2007
God bless the First Amendment.
Go, Lance, go!
LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR
| May 02, 2007
An insult to justice
Portland Phoenix freelancer Lance Tapley was given the Maine State Bar Association's Excellence in Legal Journalism Award last week at the association's annual meeting.
Truth to power
| January 31, 2007
Deane Brown defense team enlarging
A lawyer for prison-abuse whistleblower Deane Brown has announced plans to train a research team to aid in a planned federal civil-rights suit to force the state to bring Brown back to Maine from a Maryland prison and collect monetary compensation for
| January 10, 2007
Letters to the Portland editor: December 29, 2006
Cheers to Lance Tapley for his quality reporting on the Maine State Prison and the apparent political persecution of Deane Brown (see “ Lockdown ,” December 15).
Prison is not the answer
| December 27, 2006
If you were a reporter and you received a letter like the one excerpted below, what would you make of it? Lance Tapley discusses reporting the prisons
What do prison officials have to hide?
| December 14, 2006
Stonewalling is normal
I could cite many examples of the difficulty in reporting to the Maine public what goes on behind the cement and bureaucratic walls of the public’s prison system — especially, in reporting brutal practices. I will give just a few.
Reporting the prison system
| December 13, 2006
Baldacci’s ‘political prisoner’
John Baldacci’s administration on November 13 sent the Maine State Prison’s chief human-rights advocate, inmate Deane Brown, to a dangerous prison more than 500 miles away, in Baltimore. Brown’s lawyer and his best friend believe this decision was in ret
A life at risk
| November 21, 2006
Hunger strike at Maine's Supermax Prison
Inmates at the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement Supermax unit in Warren have been on a hunger strike since Saturday night. Death in the Supermax. By Lance Tapley
Suicide attempts reported
| October 18, 2006
Four months ago, a Phoenix investigative series revealed abuses of inmates at the “Supermax,” a 100-bed, solitary-confinement, maximum-security facility inside the Maine State Prison in Warren; since our articles were published, several important dev
Supermax torture revisited
| March 23, 2006
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