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Department of Corrections

Latest Articles

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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
Prodigal Sons  
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 22, 2013
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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

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
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The 12-Bar Blues Project releases three prisoner-produced CDs

Jim Svendsen runs Guitar Doors, a non-profit group that's going into Maine prisons to teach inmates to play music and, along the way, putting bands together.
Breaking up the band
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 05, 2010
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Pushing to remove shackles from pregnant prisoners

It sounds almost too cruel to be true: a woman inmate is shackled to a hospital bed while delivering her baby. Sadly, hundreds of women across the country endure that humiliation, an unthinkable indignity for an already downtrodden group.
Behind Bars
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  October 15, 2010
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The reform-proof prison

From the beginning of her tenure as commissioner, Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner Kathleen Dennehy clashed with union loyalists intent on maintaining the status quo.
Why Massachusetts' correctional system hasn't gotten any better
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 10, 2010


How can those in the box think outside of the box?

I was disgusted on multiple levels with what the article revealed about the Maine State Prison.
Letters to the Portland editor, May 14, 2010
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  May 14, 2010
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Are doctors complicit in prison torture?

In the past few years an outcry has arisen over the involvement of military and CIA medical professionals and psychologists in torture. Some critics have even suggested criminal prosecution of the medical staff involved or, at least, revocation of their
The Maine medical community looks at solitary confinement
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 23, 2010

Suspect speaks; victim’s family begins $1-million-plus lawsuit

The widow of Sheldon Weinstein, the Maine State Prison inmate who died in April several days after allegedly being beaten by inmates, has taken the first step toward filing a wrongful-death lawsuit against prison guards, Department of Corrections “policy
 Prison Homicide
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 06, 2009

Prison activist: Board chairman wrong

I just finished reading the letter from Jon Wilson. Mr. Tapley was correct, the Board of Visitors is not living up to its mandate to represent the public's concerns about the Maine State Prison, nor is it minimally accountable in that it never filed an a
Letters to the Portland Editor, September 11, 2009
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 11, 2009