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Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition

Latest Articles

Mentally ill inmates need more help

Prisoner advocates would like the new Corrections commissioner to strengthen his reform of the Maine State Prison by giving more care to the many mentally ill prisoners he is releasing from often-lengthy solitary confinement into the prison's general po
Prison reform
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 24, 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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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


AG exonerates guards

Critics of the state's prison system will press for an independent investigation after expressing dismay with the attorney general's long-delayed conclusion October 28 that Maine State Prison inmate Victor Valdez died last November from "a natural death.
Valdez prison death
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 05, 2010

Former inmate, activist now free to speak out

Last year, when Ray Luc Levasseur was invited to speak on the University of Massachusetts — Amherst campus to commemorate the anniversary of a federal sedition trial held in Springfield, the speech prompted vehement protests from police groups and state
New releases
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  October 15, 2010
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We heart these people

We all know Portland is a busy, exciting place to live. It takes a lot of people's amazing energy to keep it going, though. Who's doing the moving and the shaking?
Meet Portland's most influential
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 12, 2010

Limiting Supermax solitary

Representative James Schatz, a Blue Hill Democrat, has proposed legislation to tightly limit when prisoners can be kept in the solitary confinement of the 100-man Supermax unit of the Maine State Prison in Warren.
 Legislation Drafted
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 09, 2009

Time for law to end torture

In a collaborative effort between human-rights activists and incarcerated Mainers, a bill to end the use and abuse of solitary confinement has been drafted and will be submitted to legislators soon.
Letters to the Portland Editor, September 18, 2009
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 18, 2009


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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
Exiled
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 11, 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
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Wave of reform

A wave of change is moving swiftly toward Maine’s jails and prisons. It could bring major reform — or a bureaucratic jumble.
There is now a chance to fix Maine’s broken corrections system, but only if the public speaks up
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 06, 2008