Zachary Heiden

Latest Articles


Whistleblower returns; Maine a prison-reform model

On Valentine's Day, prisoner Deane Brown, who sounded an alarm that drew international attention to the savagery of solitary confinement and other abuses in the Maine State Prison's "supermax" unit, was returned to the Warren prison after an exile of mo
Prodigal Sons  
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 22, 2013

Commemorate 9/11 in your own way

Regardless of what you believe about 9/11, it is a day that deserves contemplation and commemoration. Here are some local events before, after, and on the 10th anniversary that will get your blood, brain, or heartstrings moving.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 09, 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
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 27, 2011

Less than equal

This story has a bias. It’s in favor of human rights for all people.
 State officials, including prejudiced human-rights commissioners, block inmate complaints
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 02, 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

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


Federal judge: more rights for the unborn

A federal judge in Bangor, Maine, has recognized a new right of fetuses that could become a key element in the nation's ongoing abortion debate.
Fetal Obligations
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 12, 2009

Prisoners’ support services slashed

Governor John Baldacci announced on December 16 that he had taken significant steps toward warehousing prisoners instead of rehabilitating them.
 Baldacci’s Warehouse
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 23, 2008

Getting real

Activists are teaming up in outrage against the Maine’s seeming acquiescence to federal “Real ID” demands.
Activists gather sigs to oppose ‘Real ID’
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 21, 2008

The 10th Annual Muzzle Awards

Mitt Romney will say or do anything if he thinks it will help him become president.
Silencing free speech
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2007

Prisoners as commodities

If Baldacci goes around the Legislature with an emergency order, a big division could open between the governor and the Legislature.
Critics slam Governor Baldacci’s plan to ship Maine inmates out of state to a for-profit company
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 25, 2007


The Ninth Annual Muzzle Awards

Nearly five years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, our political culture has been warped beyond recognition.
Our annual New England roundup of those who undermined freedom of speech and civil liberties. But first, a word about George W. Bush.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 04, 2006

Pressure rising

Four months ago, a Phoenix investigative series revealed abuses of inmates at the “Supermax,” a 100-bed, solitary-confinement, maximum-security facility inside the Maine State Prison in Warren; since our articles were published, several important dev
Supermax torture revisited
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 23, 2006
MCLU list photo 2/10/06

Domestic spying

In January, the Maine Civil Liberties Union announced that the FBI has secretly monitored the Maine Coalition for Peace and Justice, an alliance of around 60 local peace and environmental groups.
Maine's walls have ears
By SARA DONNELLY  |  February 08, 2006