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Ryan Rideout

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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.’
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  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
Prison Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY and JEFF INGLIS  |  May 15, 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
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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
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 05, 2008
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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.
Silencing alarms
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 05, 2008
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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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 31, 2007
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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.
Supermax watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 03, 2007
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Lockdown

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?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  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.
Prison watch  
By JEFF INGLIS  |  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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 18, 2006
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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
Prisons
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 11, 2006