She is one of a small group of supporters who have tried to keep up his courage. Ron Huber, 53, host of a Rockland radio show to which Brown placed on-air telephone calls about inmate treatment when he was at the prison in Warren, has been demanding that Governor John Baldacci bring him back to Maine. Earlier this summer in Augusta Huber had a confrontation on the issue with an angry David Farmer, Baldacci’s chief press aide, who told him the governor backs up the Corrections department’s decisions.

Afterwards, a solitary Huber — he has a mild, bespectacled, professorial air — knelt in the State House’s Rotunda before a glass case containing the red, white, blue, and gold 1862 First Maine Heavy Artillery battle flag. He ceremonially pronounced aloud the names of the 20-plus Maine prisoners now in out-of-state prisons, thumping on a drum after each name.

Maine prison officials said they sent Brown to Maryland because he was a “threat to the facility,” though he has no history of violence. He is serving a 59-year sentence for a string of burglaries. Last year he lost a federal civil-rights lawsuit asking that he be returned to Maine.

Brown’s experience in Maryland, Huber says, shows “what a powerful tool it is to exile people. It’s a lot easier for people to break down when they’re far from their social matrix.”

Brown’s experience also shows “the frightening ability of prison officials to bury an inmate who has the courage to speak out against injustice,” says David Bidler of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. He suggested supporters write to Deane Brown at #339-621, North Branch Correctional Institution, 14100 McMullen Highway S.W., Cumberland, MD 21502.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: A mysterious new inmate death, Corrections disobeys another federal court order, Murderabilia, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Health and Fitness, Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Western Correctional Institution,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MICHAEL JAMES SENT BACK TO PRISON  |  April 16, 2014
    The hearing’s topic was whether James’s “antisocial personality disorder” was enough of a mental disease to keep him from being sent to prison.
  •   LOCKING UP THE MENTALLY ILL  |  April 03, 2014
    The merger of the prison and mental-health systems continues
    The conference was held in March despite the risk of a snowstorm because its organizers wanted “to reach the Legislature while it’s in session,” co-coordinator Fred Horch said.
  •   ANATOMY OF A RIP-OFF, PART II  |  March 06, 2014
    Imagine if state government gave out millions of dollars a year to fat-cat financiers, big banks,  and speculative ventures without monitoring how the money is spent — basically, giving it to whoever walks in the door as long as they flash a few credentials.
  •   ANATOMY OF A TAXPAYER RIP-OFF  |  February 19, 2014
    To try to restore several hundred mill jobs to the historic paper-making North Country towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket, Maine’s politicians, in a bipartisan manner, have given away and are planning to give away millions of taxpayer dollars to various corporate interests, including big, out-of-state banks.

 See all articles by: LANCE TAPLEY