"Commissioner Ponte and Mr. Stoodley . . . have demonstrated significant leadership and commitment to increasing safety and human rights at our prison facilities." Shenna Bellows, American Civil Liberties Union of Maine executive director

"The overarching issue is personnel. The commissioner reached to eliminate some of the largest problems, but there are many others who are either unwilling or unable to conform to the new policies. . . . Health care continues to be a major issue. . . . Inadequate and delayed treatment of inmates' health problems will not only increase the costs of incarceration, but is a denial of their constitutional rights to humane treatment." Jim Bergin, Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition co-coordinator

"I give Commissioner Ponte high marks for effort . . . He engaged the advocacy community, resolved the segregation [solitary confinement] issue, and released a number of high-ranking administration officials who had been standing in the way of transparency. . . . [But others on the Maine State Prison staff] have undermined what the commissioner intended to accomplish." _Stan Moody, former Maine State Prison chaplain

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 See all articles by: LANCE TAPLEY