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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.
| June 17, 2011
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
| May 27, 2011
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
| November 05, 2010
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
| April 23, 2010
Maine tortures women, too
The Maine Department of Corrections is an equal-opportunity torturer.
But Riverview presents an alternative
| 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
| February 26, 2010
Prison in turmoil
Will reform have to wait for a new governor?
Investigators probe killing, stabbing, corruption allegations
| June 19, 2009
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
| 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.
| December 23, 2008
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
| November 05, 2008
Three prison-reform events
Three events centered on Martin Luther King Day will kick off a prison-reform movement in Maine.
| January 16, 2008
Prisoners’ guru to speak in Maine
Mainers will get a chance to discuss prison life with Bo Lozoff.
| 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.
| June 27, 2007
I had not interviewed a prisoner for six months, since the Maine Department of Corrections wanted to impose unconstitutional restrictions.
First Amendment watch
| May 02, 2007
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
| April 25, 2007
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