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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
| June 24, 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
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
| 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
| 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'
| November 12, 2010
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?
| 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
| 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
| October 15, 2010
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
| 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.
| 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
PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS
| September 18, 2009
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
| 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
LANCE TAPLEY and JEFF INGLIS
| May 15, 2009
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
| February 06, 2008
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