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maine prisons

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Whistle-blower asks to come home

In 2011 reform-minded Commissioner Joseph Ponte of the Maine Department of Corrections set up a formal process — apparently, rare in the United States — for prisoners transferred to out-of-state prison systems to apply to come home.
Exiles’ Return
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 28, 2012

Privatized prison medical care is sick

For years complaints that the privatized medical care at the state's prisons was inadequate and abusive have poured into the mail and email boxes of prisoner advocates, the state's Corrections commissioner, and the press.
But will cutting costs cure it? Joe Ponte's balancing act
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 16, 2011
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5 years against torture

The Portland Phoenix ’s prison investigation, focusing on the Maine supermax, has published 75 stories over the past five years. Here are some of the key pieces, with brief updates on what, if anything, has happened since.
Penal past
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010
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Corrections changes

Like a movie hero, the NAACP’s new, young national president, Benjamin Jealous, swept into the 900-inmate Maine State Prison in Warren on Monday, quelling protests among the prisoners and, at least temporarily, rescuing the organization’s prison chapter
NAACP leader challenges Maine prison policies
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 10, 2008

Letters to the Portland Editor, November 14, 2008

Employees of our prisons and jails deserve better wages and in-depth training.
Time to respect all people
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  |  November 12, 2008
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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