The cost of torture

By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 25, 2010

Committee members pitched softball questions to Corrections personnel. The most obvious came from Representative Gary Plummer, a Windham Republican. He asked guard captain Shawn Welch of the Maine Correctional Center in Windham: “Is solitary confinement used anywhere in our correctional system?”

“Absolutely not,” Welch answered.

The department claims that because inmates are allowed occasional phone calls and visits and have some contact with prison employees the supermax doesn’t have solitary confinement. It calls 23-hour-a-day, single-cell imprisonment behind a steel door “segregation.” But Stan Moody, a former Maine State Prison chaplain, testified that distinguishing between solitary and segregation is “a red herring.” He described the supermax as “a hell hole.”

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Related: Maine tortures women, too, A ‘moral victory’ against supermax torture, Radical night out in Portland, More more >
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