California is under a court order to reduce its prison population by 40,000 as a consequence of corrections budge constraints and their effects on the corrections system. The Maine Legislature's mindless budget cuts — with more to come, Governor Baldacci's characteristic indifference to human abuse whether in Haiti or Warren — and the vacuum where a Corrections Commission plan for meeting the crisis promise to produce more prisoner abuse, neglect, and needless deaths — and more overburdened, demoralized, and compromised guards.

Only Lance Tapley appears to be paying attention (see "Prison Staffing Crisis Hits Perilous Level," August 7).

Is it not time for a demand to free nonviolent Maine offenders whose incarceration costs — greater than college tuition costs — only burden society and to turn from a punitive justice system that puts too many offenders in jail for too long, worsened by every demagogue politician's display of toughness on crime, to a restorative justice system that better serves both offender and society?

William H. Slavick

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Every Friday there's an art walk, Sympathy for Palin, advice for Gates, Letters to the Portland Editor: August 21, 2009, More more >
  Topics: Letters , Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Prisons, Painting,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DONE WAITING FOR PATIENT SAFETY  |  March 07, 2013
    As an employee in downtown Portland as well as a resident, I've been exposed to a climate of escalating hostility surrounding the entrance to the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England offices.
  •   NOT BUYING THE MOSS LEGEND  |  January 30, 2013
    In the January 11 Portland Phoenix, book reviewer Charles Taylor lauds Kate Moss — the notoriously waifish model — as the "most extraordinary photographic muse of our era."
  •   BIRDS, NOISE VS. WIND POWER  |  December 31, 2012
    I was very disappointed that the Phoenix chose to endorse subsidizing the wind power industry.
  •   COURAGE IN JOURNALISM  |  November 28, 2012
    What does it mean to be a courageous journalist?
  •   AN ORGAN RECIPIENT SPEAKS UP  |  October 31, 2012
    An article on this subject ("On Being Undead," by Jeff Inglis, October 26) needs to be done with great thought and care.

 See all articles by: PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS