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Warren's transgender transgression

To understand Chief US District Judge Mark Wolf's landmark ruling ordering the state of Massachusetts to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender prisoner, you need to understand this: a "sex-change operation" is not cosmetic s
What we can learn from the Senate candidate's alarming remark
By EDITORIAL  |  September 14, 2012
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The secret's out

Need free health care? Why not just go to prison?
Toontime
By MATT BORS  |  July 15, 2011

Mentally ill inmates need more help

Prisoner advocates would like the new Corrections commissioner to strengthen his reform of the Maine State Prison by giving more care to the many mentally ill prisoners he is releasing from often-lengthy solitary confinement into the prison's general po
Prison reform
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 24, 2011

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

Corporate prison bill 'carried over'

Although LD 690, A BILL TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR "EXILED" PRISONERS TO RETURN TO MAINE , was killed May 6 by the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, political activist Ron Huber, who had pushed it, declared "victory in Augusta" on his Facebook page.
Inmate Exile Dept.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 13, 2011
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Lock-up lessons

Fixing Maine’s troubled prisons is not an impossible task. In fact, if the state treated adult inmates more along the lines of how it treats juvenile offenders, prison critics — including, surprisingly, the new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte — t
The new corrections commissioner wants Maine prisons to learn from the state’s juvenile-treatment model
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 08, 2011


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At a turning point

When Joseph Ponte was told that Maine's longtime corrections commissioner Martin Magnusson had once informed the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, after a dramatic hostage-taking, that there were "probably 300 inmates right now with a weapon in
LePage's nominee to head Corrections has the skills to fix Maine's broken prison system. Will the governor and lawmakers give Joseph Ponte the tools?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 11, 2011

TB worry at Maine State Prison

"Several individuals" at the Maine State Prison in Warren have tested positive for tuberculosis, but "there are no confirmed active cases," says Denise Lord, deputy Maine Corrections commissioner.
'No active cases'
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010

Penal future

The few things that Republican Governor-elect Paul LePage was reported as saying on crime-and-punishment issues during the campaign mostly sounded harsh and, of course, right-wing.
Will LePage's zeal to cut the budget make prisoners and guards bleed?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010
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The 12-Bar Blues Project releases three prisoner-produced CDs

Jim Svendsen runs Guitar Doors, a non-profit group that's going into Maine prisons to teach inmates to play music and, along the way, putting bands together.
Breaking up the band
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 05, 2010
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Pushing to remove shackles from pregnant prisoners

It sounds almost too cruel to be true: a woman inmate is shackled to a hospital bed while delivering her baby. Sadly, hundreds of women across the country endure that humiliation, an unthinkable indignity for an already downtrodden group.
Behind Bars
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  October 15, 2010


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Why did the liberals help construct our concentration camps for the poor?

Why did middle-class liberals, historically the leaders of compassionate social reform, allow, with nary a peep, the construction of our colossal Prison Complex? Two books, one new and one a few years old, explain why liberals not only went along with
Prison complex
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 10, 2010