Ross had argued that Brown, who suffers from diabetes and other ailments, was not getting proper medical care in New Jersey. A skilled woodworker, he would like to "resume productive work and also continue his education," she wrote the Maine DOC.

Since the new return policy was established, six prisoners have come back to Maine; two have been refused return, according to Huber. In the past two years Ponte has reformed a number of the prison system's practices, including making Maine a national leader in reducing the use of solitary confinement.

For more on Deane Brown, see "Whistleblower Asks to Come Home," by Lance Tapley, September 26. For the original story in the Phoenix series, go to  tinyurl.com/MainePrisons.

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