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Denise Lord

Latest Articles

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Lock-up lessons

Fixing Maine’s troubled prisons is not an impossible task. In fact, if the state treated adult inmates more along the lines of how it treats juvenile offenders, prison critics — including, surprisingly, the new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte — t
The new corrections commissioner wants Maine prisons to learn from the state’s juvenile-treatment model
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 08, 2011

'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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 28, 2011

TB worry at Maine State Prison

"Several individuals" at the Maine State Prison in Warren have tested positive for tuberculosis, but "there are no confirmed active cases," says Denise Lord, deputy Maine Corrections commissioner.
'No active cases'
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010

Penal future

The few things that Republican Governor-elect Paul LePage was reported as saying on crime-and-punishment issues during the campaign mostly sounded harsh and, of course, right-wing.
Will LePage's zeal to cut the budget make prisoners and guards bleed?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010

A mysterious new inmate death

Despite a scandal earlier this year over a prisoner death, state corrections officials won’t allow the Phoenix to interview a Maine State Prison inmate who has claimed in letters that prison staff abused an ailing prisoner, Victor Valdez, before Valdez
Prison Scandal Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 11, 2009

Another Supermax hunger strike

Protesting that nothing had been done by prison authorities to relieve the torture of prolonged solitary confinement, on August 17 inmates of the Maine State Prison’s 100-man Special Management Unit or “Supermax” reprised a hunger strike that had been ab
Dungeon Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 04, 2009


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Secret, unaccountable, and co-opted

The state prison in Warren has been hammered in recent months by an inmate murder and other violence, a prisoner hunger strike, legislative investigations exposing mismanagement and poor guard morale, and a request by human-rights groups for a federal pr
If the prison Board of Visitors had done its job, it might have helped prevent several recent tragedies
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 14, 2009

Putting an end to the hunger strike

Maine State Prison officials ended a hunger strike involving at least 10 inmates of the solitary-confinement Supermax unit in Warren by threatening to withhold the strikers’ psychotropic medications, according to allegations by an inmate who participated
Prison Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY and JEFF INGLIS  |  May 15, 2009

Maine Supermax inmates on hunger strike


_By Lance TapleyAt least eight inmates of the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement Supermax un...
By Jeff Inglis  |  May 06, 2009
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Lawmakers to probe prison

For years controversy has churned over the Maine State Prison's treatment of both inmates and correctional officers. For the first time, legislators have taken action.
Several investigations begin simultaneously
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 10, 2009

Prisoners’ support services slashed

Governor John Baldacci announced on December 16 that he had taken significant steps toward warehousing prisoners instead of rehabilitating them.
 Baldacci’s Warehouse
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 23, 2008


Letters to the Portland editor, July 25, 2008

The Black Bird Legal Collective would like to thank Lance Tapley for his continued exposure of Maine prison issues.
Time to end torture
By LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR  |  July 23, 2008

Educating inmates



By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 06, 2008
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Stabbed in the back

Right now, a bewildered Mark Cible is on a nightmarish journey through some of America’s most violent prisons.
Officials reward a prison hero by endangering his life
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 12, 2007
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A Supermax “graduate”

The Supermax makes mentally unstable prisoners worse, its critics say.
Watch your backs
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 11, 2007
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Corrections Department obstructs free press

This week is Sunshine Week, a time when media organizations around the country draw attention to state and federal Freedom of Information laws.
Sunshine week
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 14, 2007


Cracks in the armor

A couple of cracks have opened in the state’s armor of prison secrecy.
Prison employee may be disciplined in suicide case; interview policy to be rewritten
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 31, 2007
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Lockdown

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?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 13, 2006
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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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 21, 2006
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Death in the Supermax

A 25-year-old inmate killed himself in the state’s Supermax prison on October 5, corrections officers say. But while a Rockland newspaper quoted the prison warden as saying the inmate was not considered a suicide risk, Ryan Rideout had a long history of
Prisons
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 11, 2006


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Arbitrary imprisonment

Joseph Steinberger thought he had won one of the most important trials of his legal career.
In a mysterious Guantánamo-like move, the state refuses to follow a judge’s order committing a mentally ill prisoner to Riverview
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 19, 2006
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Pressure rising

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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 23, 2006