bestnom1000x50

Sheldon Weinstein

Latest Articles

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.
Shakeup continues
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 17, 2011

Seeking humane treatment

Some Maine people are taking moral responsibility for the way supermax inmates are treated.
State and national efforts well under way
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 19, 2010
FEAT021910_solitary_cover_list

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

A mysterious new inmate death

Despite a scandal earlier this year over a prisoner death, state corrections officials won’t allow the Phoenix to interview a Maine State Prison inmate who has claimed in letters that prison staff abused an ailing prisoner, Victor Valdez, before Valdez
Prison Scandal Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 11, 2009

Suspect speaks; victim’s family begins $1-million-plus lawsuit

The widow of Sheldon Weinstein, the Maine State Prison inmate who died in April several days after allegedly being beaten by inmates, has taken the first step toward filing a wrongful-death lawsuit against prison guards, Department of Corrections “policy
 Prison Homicide
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 06, 2009

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


Article aided big oil

Nothing helps big oil, and big coal, more than a piece like "What's Wrong With Wind Power?" (by Deirdre Fulton, August 21).
Letters to the Portland Editor, September 4, 2009
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 04, 2009
monkey list

Secret, unaccountable, and co-opted

The state prison in Warren has been hammered in recent months by an inmate murder and other violence, a prisoner hunger strike, legislative investigations exposing mismanagement and poor guard morale, and a request by human-rights groups for a federal pr
If the prison Board of Visitors had done its job, it might have helped prevent several recent tragedies
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 14, 2009

Budget cuts

“Things are as tough at the prison right now as I’ve seen them in a long time,” state Corrections commissioner Martin Magnusson told the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on July 29. He spoke about the consequences of the staff c
Prison staffing crisis hits perilous level
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 07, 2009

Federal investigation requested

Stirred into action by the murder of a wheelchair-bound prisoner, human-rights activists have asked the federal Department of Justice to investigate the treatment of Maine State Prison inmates.
More prison turmoil
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 24, 2009
prison list

Prison in turmoil

Will reform have to wait for a new governor?
Investigators probe killing, stabbing, corruption allegations
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 19, 2009