Critics suggested the Maine Gang Task Force's figure of up to 4000 gang members in the state — based, Berry said, on FBI estimates — is greatly exaggerated.
A theme among opponents is that LD 1707 would require unjustly long and expensive-to-the-taxpayer sentences. The day before the bill's hearing the Vera Institute of Justice, a think tank, released a detailed study of how much it costs each state correctional system to incarcerate a prisoner. Maine's cost averages $56,269 a year, second only to New York in the 40 states studied.
By comparison, Harvard this academic year charges $52,652 for undergraduate tuition, room, board, and fees.
Read the prison-cost study at vera.org/pubs/price-prisons.
: This Just In
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