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Lawmakers to probe prison

Several investigations begin simultaneously
For years controversy has churned over the Maine State Prison's treatment of both inmates and correctional officers. For the first time, legislators have taken action.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 08, 2009

Arbitrary injustice

Sent to Supermax solitary confinement
Fears doesn't like the particular prison where he now resides. He would prefer to be in one near his family in Arizona, and not in solitary confinement.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 09, 2009


Cleaning up Maine's sleaze

Politicians have left it to the people
When tourists admire Maine's picturesque waterfronts, they aren't close enough to smell the barrels reeking with rotting lobster bait.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 18, 2009

Official propaganda

Why pay for the governor's publicity machine?
Isn't it sinister or at least creepy in a democracy for citizens to foot the bill for politicians and high officials to propagandize them?
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 18, 2009


The wrong man for hard times

State House Democrats need to stand up to the governor
Most Democrats see Barack Obama’s inauguration as a clear-cut, welcome turn to the left.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 04, 2009

Baldacci rejects reform, embraces corporate prisons again

Prison watch
Awareness is dawning around the country that 30 years of lengthy, tough-on-crime prison sentences have constructed an unsustainably expensive penal system.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 21, 2009


Hey guv: stop slashing!

State budget cuts just make the recession worse
It seems as if there’s no light at the end of the state’s gloomy fiscal tunnel.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 31, 2008

Prisoners’ support services slashed

 Baldacci’s Warehouse
Governor John Baldacci announced on December 16 that he had taken significant steps toward warehousing prisoners instead of rehabilitating them.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 23, 2008


Corrections changes

NAACP leader challenges Maine prison policies
Like a movie hero, the NAACP’s new, young national president, Benjamin Jealous, swept into the 900-inmate Maine State Prison in Warren on Monday, quelling protests among the prisoners and, at least temporarily, rescuing the organization’s prison chapter from being snuffed out by state corrections officials.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 10, 2008


Falling down

Mistreatment of Maine prison guards lands heavily on inmates
Critics of the state Department of Corrections say the hostage-taking last June at the Maine State Prison dramatically illustrates that the concrete, high-tech lockup in Warren is showing cracks from stress on the prison guards.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 05, 2008


Baldacci raids the cookie jar

The governor’s secret Dirigo Health bailout
Under the American system of government, the legislative branch is supposed to decide how your tax money is spent, but . . .  
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 15, 2008

The mentally ill, criminalized

Common nonsense
She is afraid he will continue to be kept in the Supermax, which will make him worse, she says.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 11, 2008


A threat, but not to security

Deane Brown battles on
Maine prisoner Deane Brown, 44, is no longer in solitary confinement, though he remains far from Maine.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 03, 2008


Maine: state of deception

How a budget surplus emerged from a back room
Surprise! When the 2008 fiscal year ended, on June 30, the state had a General Fund surplus of $56 million, so the shortfall in reality was considerably smaller than predicted — $134 million.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 27, 2008


Time for a clean sweep?

A former guard calls for prison reform
In early 2007, Rhonda Dawson, a thoughtful, candid, 45-year-old African-American guard at the Maine State Prison in Warren, quit her job after four years because, she says, of racist taunting from her fellow correctional officers.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 23, 2008


Torture for the hostage-taker?

Prison watch
Will Michael Chasse, the inmate who allegedly held two people hostage on June 30 at the Maine State Prison, now be tortured by Governor John Baldacci’s administration?
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 09, 2008


Imprisoned facts

Will the truth escape from a break in the prison wall?
Although I had already written a lot about abuse in the prison, this May 21 interview with Dorney, a 28-year-old Portland man serving 20 years for assault, was what I had been waiting for.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 28, 2008


Taking from the poor

Democratic lawmakers show their Republican values
What values do Maine’s Democrats hold?
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 07, 2008


Judge orders injections for Maine prisoner

Maryland exile
A Maryland court has ordered Maine prisoner Deane Brown to be forcibly injected with insulin, if necessary.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 23, 2008


Promoting human rights at home

The enemy within
“We have a holier-than-thou” attitude in the United States about human-rights violations abroad, said Bart Carhart, a student organizer of the new Amnesty International chapter at the University of Southern Maine.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 02, 2008


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

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