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Screams from solitary
The 132-man supermax unit within the 925-man Maine State Prison is an expensive, taxpayer-funded torture chamber that for 18 years has sucked in mostly nonviolent, mostly mentally ill prisoners and ground them up by means of mind-destroying solitary conf
‘By dehumanizing prisoners, we dehumanize ourselves.’
| February 19, 2010
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
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
Three years and counting
For the past three years, Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley has been the only reporter in Maine to pay attention to the appalling conditions suffered by inmates in the Maine State Prison
The Portland Phoenix' s prison scoops keep piling up
PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF
| November 05, 2008
State sued over inmate’s death
As severely mentally ill Maine State Prison inmate Ryan Rideout prepared to hang himself from a sprinkler in his cell on the night of October 5, 2006, other inmates frantically pressed panic buttons in their cells.
| March 05, 2008
Inmate sues prison officials in federal court
Did the Maine Department of Corrections violate the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee by keeping inmate and human-rights activist Deane Brown from contact with the news media?
First amendment watch
| May 18, 2007
Cracks in the armor
A couple of cracks have opened in the state’s armor of prison secrecy.
Prison employee may be disciplined in suicide case; interview policy to be rewritten
| January 31, 2007
Sluggish response to suicide
An eyewitness to the suicide of Ryan Rideout, a 25-year-old, severely mentally ill Augusta man who hanged himself with his bedding in his Maine State Prison Supermax cell on October 5, calls into question the official version of events.
| January 03, 2007
If you were a reporter and you received a letter like the one excerpted below, what would you make of it? Lance Tapley discusses reporting the prisons
What do prison officials have to hide?
| December 14, 2006
Stonewalling is normal
I could cite many examples of the difficulty in reporting to the Maine public what goes on behind the cement and bureaucratic walls of the public’s prison system — especially, in reporting brutal practices. I will give just a few.
Reporting the prison system
| December 13, 2006
More trouble in the Supermax
A hunger strike has ended at the Maine State Prison in Warren, but all is not well at the state’s largest house of corrections.
| October 25, 2006
Hunger strike at Maine's Supermax Prison
Inmates at the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement Supermax unit in Warren have been on a hunger strike since Saturday night. Death in the Supermax. By Lance Tapley
Suicide attempts reported
| October 18, 2006
Death in the Supermax
A 25-year-old inmate killed himself in the state’s Supermax prison on October 5, corrections officers say. But while a Rockland newspaper quoted the prison warden as saying the inmate was not considered a suicide risk, Ryan Rideout had a long history of
| October 11, 2006
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