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State sued over inmate’s death

Silencing alarms
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.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 05, 2008

A “good” tax break in the making

Historic rehab
Legislative leadership supports it, and so does Governor John Baldacci. Last year, the Taxation Committee gave it a unanimous “ought to pass” report. It looks golden.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 20, 2008


Tax break heaven

The rich get richer, the middle class picks up the tab, and the state goes broke. Here’s why.
As the economy sours, state taxes are bringing in less than expected.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 20, 2008


Corporate welfare state

A little change in the tax law with big consequences
In 2006, state lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to give away millions of tax dollars a year for decades to some of Maine’s biggest corporations.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 20, 2008


Wave of reform

There is now a chance to fix Maine’s broken corrections system, but only if the public speaks up
A wave of change is moving swiftly toward Maine’s jails and prisons. It could bring major reform — or a bureaucratic jumble.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 06, 2008


Three prison-reform events

Getting organized
Three events centered on Martin Luther King Day will kick off a prison-reform movement in Maine.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 16, 2008

The loud business drumbeat

Who really cares about the poor, the sick, the elderly, or the mentally ill? Keep searching.
The majority legislative Dems do not share Baldacci’s enthusiasm for these cuts, but they seem resigned to them.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 30, 2008


Everyone’s a neocon now

Looking back on state politics — and forward
In the eight years I’ve covered the State House for the Portland Phoenix, I’ve been struck by the depressingly constant themes.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 21, 2007

An unprecedented crime

Mass torture in America. And how to stop it
I have a true ghost story to tell: the story of 35,000 ghosts in America, the largely invisible inmates of our solitary-confinement “supermax” prisons.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 14, 2007


Gov: Cut services while I travel overseas

While Baldacci takes lobbyists’ money for a trip, his wife bills taxpayers
Lobbyists and campaign contributors are among the private interests paying for Governor John Baldacci’s upcoming trip to Asia, though the state forbids officials from accepting gifts.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 24, 2007


Exiled Maine prisoners report abuse, danger

Prison watch
Maine corrections officials and Governor John Baldacci refuse to comment on them or the state’s responsibility for their care.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 26, 2007


Stabbed in the back

Officials reward a prison hero by endangering his life
Right now, a bewildered Mark Cible is on a nightmarish journey through some of America’s most violent prisons.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 12, 2007


We’re all doing time

The facts are almost unbelievable: As a nation, our incarceration rate is five times what it was 30 years ago and the highest in the world.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 29, 2007


Dangerous waits for psychiatric evaluations?

Jail watch
State officials admit delays for jail-inmate psychiatric evaluations have increased considerably.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 15, 2007


Mentally ill inmate gets care, despite state's objections

Prison watch
The guards “tortured me there,” he said, adding that he got “zero” mental-health treatment in prison.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 08, 2007


Prisoners’ guru to speak in Maine

Human kindness
Mainers will get a chance to discuss prison life with Bo Lozoff.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 18, 2007


A Supermax “graduate”

Watch your backs
The Supermax makes mentally unstable prisoners worse, its critics say.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 11, 2007


This woman killed tax reform

In the lobby
“She pulled the plug,” says Taxation Committee chairman Joseph Perry.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 11, 2007



Why is the state's gambling watchdog getting a bite of slot-machine profits?
Three years ago, state government hired Scientific Games Corporation, its long-time lottery contractor, to monitor the slot-machine receipts at the state’s first casino.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 06, 2007
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