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Maine Correctional Center

Latest Articles

Top prison officials fired

In a continuing shakeup at the troubled Maine State Prison, new Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has fired six top officials including its controversial security chief, Deputy Warden James O'Farrell.
Shakeup continues
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 17, 2011
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Reform comes to the supermax

Less than three months into his job, Maine's new corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has begun to dramatically reform the Maine State Prison's long-troubled solitary-confinement "supermax" unit.
New commissioner cuts population by more than half; prisoner-rights advocates help in the reform
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 27, 2011
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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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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
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Maine tortures women, too

The Maine Department of Corrections is an equal-opportunity torturer.
But Riverview presents an alternative
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 12, 2010

The cost of torture

In the end, whether mass solitary confinement continues at the Maine State Prison supermax may come down to an issue of money rather than right or wrong. And resolving that issue may come down to whether the state wants to pay more now to pay less in the
Solitary Confinement Bill Hearing
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 26, 2010


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Prison in turmoil

Will reform have to wait for a new governor?
Investigators probe killing, stabbing, corruption allegations
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 19, 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
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Falling down

Critics of the state Department of Corrections say the hostage-taking last June at the Maine State Prison dramatically illustrates that the concrete, high-tech lockup in Warren is showing cracks from stress on the prison guards.
Mistreatment of Maine prison guards lands heavily on inmates
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 05, 2008
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Three prison-reform events

Three events centered on Martin Luther King Day will kick off a prison-reform movement in Maine.
Getting organized
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 16, 2008


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Prisoners’ guru to speak in Maine

Mainers will get a chance to discuss prison life with Bo Lozoff.
Human kindness
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 18, 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.

By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 27, 2007
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Prisoner gagged

I had not interviewed a prisoner for six months, since the Maine Department of Corrections wanted to impose unconstitutional restrictions.
First Amendment watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 02, 2007
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Prisoners as commodities

If Baldacci goes around the Legislature with an emergency order, a big division could open between the governor and the Legislature.
Critics slam Governor Baldacci’s plan to ship Maine inmates out of state to a for-profit company
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 25, 2007