A Punishing Culture - Criminal Injustice
Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Death-penalty critic Sister Helen Prejean

MPAC Statewide Strategy Meeting
Saturday, December 3, 2106
 Meeting begins at 10:00 a.m.

IBEW Local Union 1837 Hall
16 Old Winthrop Rd., Manchester, ME
Welcome to everyone interested in MPAC goals
For more information please email MPAC 

More about M-PAC from WERU News WERU News Archives or Additional Archive
The Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC) is comprised of Maine prisoners, their friends and families, victims of crime, 
and others committed to ethical, positive, and 
humane changes in Maine's prison system.

Welcome 
News and Events
Also see Ongoing News for up-to-date news from MPAC prisoners and advocates 
 
        In the Spotlight...
M-PAC Logo by Lil Ed

Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Preventable / Natural Deaths in 
Maine Prisons 
This page was last updated: November 30, 2016
For any technical problems with our website feel free to contact the Webmaster.
Prisoners as Commodities
Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix
 LD 1095: For-profit corporate prisons (i.e. CCA)
 "A very bad idea for Maine"
UPDATE Bill carried over to 2012 and then defeated!
Private Prison Problems Bangor Daily News Editorial
Prison Bill Draws Ire of Coalition
Portland Press Herald  Morning Sentinel
NAACP, others bristle after GOP Senator censors anti-private-prison testimony -
Words 'slavery,' 'racism' banned 
Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix
Bill would ease path for private prison in Milo  Marian McCue, The New Maine Times
Watch: Immigrants for Sale 
(to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
Milo Forum: The Myth of Jobs in Private Prison TownsME Peace, Justice & Environment Network 
Private Prison in Maine Shenna Bellows,MCLU
Reducing Solitary Confinement
Reducing solitary confinement:  
How Maine's corrections commissioner dropped supermax numbers by 70 percent . . . and became a national leader in prison reform (if anybody follows) Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix
Joseph Ponte, Commissioner of Maine Department of Corrections
Joseph Ponte
Commissioner,Maine Department of Corrections
Privatized Prison Medical Care is Sick
Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix
MPAC Declares Victory in Defeat of Private Prison Bill!
     Advocacy group hails defeat of private prison legislation
      George Tibbetts, Jr.,The Valley Voice

       Maine private prison bill headed to dead files
       Huffington Post

     Maine lawmakers kill private-prison bill
      Glenn Adams, Portland Press Herald

     Legislature rejects private prison plan
      The New Maine Times

     ACLU of Maine Applauds Vote Against Private Prisons
MDOC undermines re-entry with new public database
Andrew Benore, Knox Village Soup
Company’s offer to buy, run state prisons meets with rejection:The rebuff by five of the 48 states that got the offer may signal prison privatization’s waning popularity,  Associated Press
Wisely, Maine gave firm no to private prisons
Lewiston Sun Journal Editorial 
Tell a friend about this page
Aging Maine Prisoner Population Issues Addressed
Prison Reform Under LePage  
Joe Steinberger, The Free Press
Our View: Troubled prison has right person in charge  Portland Press Herald Editorial
Watch: Major Prison Reforms in August 2013CURE video by 
Charlie Sullivan
Maine, too, is guilty of overusing prisons as punishment
Editorial Opinion by Grainne Dunne, ACLU-Maine
ACLU of Maine Urges Legislature to Reject Bill to House Mentally Ill Patients at Prison,Money Would Be Better Spent Improving Conditions at Riverview, Says Group
Another View: State prison wrong setting for Riverview forensic patients
Those found not responsible for criminal offenses shouldn't be warehoused in a corrections facility.
By GRAINNE DUNNE, justice organizer, ACLU Maine
Increased violence at Maine’s psych hospital prompts reformScott Thistle, Sun Journal via Bangor Daily News
Inmate Steven Clark gets a hug from his girl friend Tomi Doyle after Clark received his associate degree from the University of Maine in Augusta on Monday at the Maine State Prison.
Solitary Confinement Cell at Maine State Prison
ALONE "A typical solitary-confinement cell. I saw what looked like a bloodstain near the door. I sat on the metal bed shelf and smelled human feces." Lance Tapley
Prison education program offers new beginnings for Maine inmatesSun Journal, Judy Meyer,via Bangor Daily News
Inmates Jon Brent Dyer, left, Jerry James Banks, center and Brandon Brown celebrate getting diplomas from the University of Maine at Augusta during a ceremony on Monday at the Maine State Prison.
R photo: Inmates Jon Brent Dyer, left, Jerry James Banks, center and Brandon Brown celebrate getting diplomas from the University of Maine at Augusta during a ceremony on Monday at the Maine State Prison.
MSP Mental Health/Riverview
Sentencing Guideline Revision
Advocates say Riverview fix not working
Scott Thistle, Lewiston Sun Journal
Maine State Prison Warden Rodney Bouffard and Care and Treatment Worker Eric Bueno (holding plaque), front row kneeling left to right, along with Deputy Warden Michael J. Tausek (back row standing far right) pose for a photo with MSP ACT prisoner graduates Brad, Patrick, Scott, Leonard, and Carl (holding diplomas). (Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Corrections)
Maine State Prison inmate dies Stephen Betts, Bangor Daily News
New state prison mental health center met with optimism By Stephen Betts, Bangor Daily News
Death of inmate at Maine State Prison ruled a homicide Micah Boland, 37, was stabbed to death, apparently by another inmate, state police sayPortland Press Herald, Edward Murphy
Recent homicide at Maine State Prison

Micah T. Boland Obituary
37 year old Micah Boland 
of Rockland
Maine prison guards request stab vestsPortland Press Herald, David Hench
Bill Nemitz: Violence in prison a fact of life ... but should it be? The father of a Maine State Prison inmate calls for changes. Portland Press Herald, Bill Nemitz
Commissioner defends Maine state prison safety in wake of killings Prisoner advocates, however, say new controls and less programming and privileges have raised tensions 
Morning Sentinel, Scott Dolan & David Hench
More Preventable Deaths on our Archive Page
Breaking News...
Maine corrections chief Joseph Ponte to head NYC jails  David Hench, Portland Press Herald
LePage appoints acting corrections commissioner
Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick is currently the Dept. of Corrections’ clinical director and associate commissioner for juvenile services
Morning Sentinel, Scott Dolan
Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick
Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick
‘Frontline’ show puts focus on Maine jail reforms A PBS documentary on solitary confinement in the U.S. will include Maine’s progression on reducing its use.Portland Press Herald, David Hench

Locking up the mentally ill 
The agony of Michael James
The Portland Phoenix, Lance Tapely

The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars
New York Times Editorial

Riverview discharges man to serve prison sentence Treatment providers and others testify that Michael James has a personality disorder and is not mentally ill. Kennebeck Journal, Betty Adams
Michael James sent back to prison
Untreatable? The Portland Phoenix, Lance Tapley
Prison reforms take Maine in right direction: Portland Press Herald Editorial
Frontline - Solitary Confinement
Portland Phoenix Editorial
Maine Prison Inmate Died of Natural Causes A spokesman for the medical examiner's office says 32-year-old Phillip Kay died as a result of blood clots in both lungs, MPBN
Our View: Early release for inmates can work if well-planned Reinstating parole would let selected Maine offenders make a supervised re-entry into society Portland Press Herald Editorial
Cumberland County jail guard appeals one-year suspension - An attorney for Nicholas Stein argues that he shouldn't have his certification suspended for dragging an injured inmate across a concrete floor, Kennebec Journal, Betty Adams
[Joseph F. Daoust] dies at Somerset County Jail  Bangor Daily News, by Dawn Gagnon
Riverview nurse hospitalized in attack by angry patientKennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel, Betty Adams
Cory Peaslee, a former guard at the Maine State Prison target of harsh hazing. Amelia Kunhardt/Staff Photographer
Riverview patient faces charges after rampage, Kennebeck Journal, Betty Adams
Maine State Prison inmate dies of natural causes, Bangor Daily News, Stephen Betts
Watch: Life In Prison: Eight Hours at a Time
by Robert Reilly, WCSH Channel 6
Our View: Death Penalty Is Wrong for Maine
Our State's Life without Parole is the right punishment for the worst of the worst
Editorial Portland Press Herald
Prisoner advocates offer background for coverage of Maine corrections Letter to the Portland Phoenix from Joseph Jackson, MPAC Coordinator

Ban the Box in Maine artwork by ARRT
Maine Proposed Legislation
Contribute via PayPal through MPAC's advocacy partner. Your entire donation will be sent to MPAC
MPAC Coordinator Joseph Jackson speaking at "The Struggle Continues" Conference
Editorial: Our View: Jail time for unpaid fines unfairly penalizes poverty
A bill now before the Maine Legislature justifiably targets what amount to debtors' prisons.
Portland Press Herald
Exiled Prisoners Meeting: 
A Belanger-MPAC, 
J Fitzpatrick-MDOC Comm, Ron Huber-MPAC Exiles Coord, 
Scott McCaffery MDOC
Pregnant prisoners should not be in shackles 
Maine is the only New England state that allows this practice.

Kennebec Journal, Columnist Brigid Mullally is an OB/GYN at MaineGeneral Obstetrics & Gynecology in Augusta.
Inmate [Harold Gleason] dies at MCCRyan McLaughlin, Bangor Daily News
Our View: Jail is the wrong way to make offenders pay fines It’s not only unfair to incarcerate those who can’t pay, it’s a bad way to use public funds.
PPH Editorial
Rachel Talbot Ross of the Portland Chapter of the NAACP (left) speaks with Maine State Prison inmate Foster Bates, a member of the NAACP's prison chapter.
Photo credit MPBN
Listen: Life Behind Bars [Maine State Prison]
Keith Shortall, MPBN
[with Joseph Jackson, MPAC Coordinator]
[Michael James] wants to leave prison, return to [Riverview]
“The state now seeks to send him back to the very institution [MSP] in which he was made badly crazy in the first instance,” [Chief Justice] Saufley said. “Do we not have government at its worst in this process?”
Betty Adams, Kennebec Journal
[Willard Eastman] . . . dies at Maine State PrisonDennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald
Maine State Prison warden promoted, job listed, Noi Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty named warden of Maine State Prison
Craig Crosby, Kennebec Journal/Portland Press Herald
Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty has been selected to be the warden at Maine State Prison. Kennebec Journal File Photo/Andy Molloy
Proposed rules for Maine inmates may seek to ban all outside communication
The Department of Corrections has so far been quiet about new inmate discipline rules that it intends to air at a public hearing Monday.
Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald
If we deny rights to Maine prisoners, we undercut liberties of all
Arielle Greenberg Bywater, Special to the Bangor Daily News
Our View: Proposed inmate contact rules speak poorly of Maine corrections system
The communications limits violate free-speech rights and contradict practices shown to reduce the risk of recidivism.
Our View, Portland Press Herald
Obama Administration Approves Plan To Make Prison Phone Calls More Affordable
"Today’s vote will never make up for the inactions of the past, but it is my hope that the order will finally bring relief to those that have waited for so long."
Dana Liebelson Staff Reporter, The Huffington Post
Maine Voices: Allow inmates the power of a pen
Arielle Greenberg, Special to the Telegram
Opponents voice objections to proposed rules that could restrict Maine inmates’ speech
Many at Monday's hearing on the Maine Department of Corrections proposal said the proposal is too vague, would cause discipline problems at state prisons, and would damage efforts to rehabilitate prisoners.
Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald
Public Comment on Proposed Communication Changes
Maine Voices: Criminal justice system needs fix
Sen. Susan Collins should join the bipartisan effort to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.

Jim Schatz, SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM
Our View: Jail time for unpaid fines unfairly penalizes poverty
A bill now before the Maine Legislature justifiably targets what amount to debtors' prisons.
Portland Press Herald
Inmate dies at Cumberland County Jail
Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News
Prisoner dies at Maine Correctional Center
Wayne Patrick King dies Sunday
WMTW
Website © 2008 - 2016 Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
MPAC, Maine Works partner to help with prisoner re-entry with Margo Walsh & Joseph Jackson
Margo Walsh & Joseph Jackson
UPDATE! 
Listen: Meeting on Long Creek Policies Postponed
Susan Sharon, Maine Public  ~  November 29, 2016
Our Opinion: Public owed answers on Long Creek suicide
For a facility with such a difficult mission, and a checkered past, secrecy is harmful.
Kennebec Journal
Long Creek juvenile center’s mental health protocols questioned after suicide
'Every red flag should have gone up' in the case of a suicidal transgender teen, national experts say. So far, the state-run facility has shed no light.
Matt Byrne, Portland Press Herald
Reported suicide by transgender boy housed in girls unit at Long Creek prompts demand for review
His death while on suicide watch raises many questions about incarceration practices, but corrections officials aren't talking, even as two groups ask the Maine attorney general to investigate.
Matt Byrne, Portland Press Herald
MPAC Annual Appeal - To Donate, use our PayPal link above.
“Just a voice sometimes is enough to keep the prison administration on their toes. Everything MPAC members do is meaningful. Thank you for not giving up on us.” – Jeff

Dear Friend of Restorative and Humane Justice for Maine People,

We deeply appreciate your past and ongoing support of the work and goals of Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC). We are Maine’s prisoners, former prisoners, families, victims of crime, and people like you who understand the ethical, practical, and humane changes needed in Maine's criminal justice system.

We're grateful to share MPAC’s Annual Appeal with you for the purpose of organizing advocacy projects and expanding access for all Mainers to a JUST and EQUAL society. We hope you'll be able to contribute. 

Last year MPAC greatly increased advocacy through an effective coalition led by coordinator, Joseph Jackson, assistant coordinator Jan Collins, and many committed members. With the fortunate combination of leadership from former prisoners, and direction from current prisoners, MPAC has now expanded outreach to youth – mentoring former and presently incarcerated young men and women, and changing the policies that affect them. We've collaborated with Maine Inside Out, Youth First, Maine Children's Alliance, and other youth mentoring projects in Portland, Biddeford, Lewiston and other towns. Now we need to ensure that these new projects keep growing, while still increasing MPAC's adult prisoner actions as well. MPAC's “Fair Chance” Legislation (Ban the Box on employment applications) begins in this new legislative session. Here again, MPAC is incorporating young leadership by training college students through presentations beginning this month at Bates College and UM-Presque Isle.  

One more important note: MPAC began a special emphasis in 2016 on unique issues and the over-representation in Maine's prisoners of prisoners of color, both youth and adults. 

Many Maine citizens are directly affected by incarceration. Nationally, one out of every 100 adults is behind bars (1 in 6 for young men of color). One in 31 is on some form of state supervision such as probation, and 1 in 23 children has an incarcerated parent. As the illness of chemical addiction, combined with income disparity, continues to impact our towns, more people are incarcerated and costs rise in terms of taxes and loss of hope for families. We’re fortunate to have a handful of alternatives; yet, these don’t affect most people. Everyone benefits from MPAC’s push toward Fair Chance Legislation, Sentencing Guidelines Revisions, Supervised Community Confinement, ending Solitary Confinement's abuses and costs, Medical oversight, and training new leaders from the very people we represent.

For over nine years, MPAC activists have worked with Maine’s incarcerated men and women to improve prison conditions and post-release successes. MPAC acts as the primary state watchdog on inhumane disciplinary policies. We promote pay-for-work plans for prisoners, continue to reduce solitary confinement, and speak for the growing numbers of mentally ill citizens confined in Maine's prisons. MPAC networks with diverse groups in our coalition to bring about legislative improvements; and we stand against efforts to remove civil rights, such as the recurring attempts to remove voting rights for prisoners. Equally important, MPAC keeps constant pressure on prison healthcare providers to combat medical negligence, and constantly meets with prison officials so that incarcerated men and women's voices are heard and crises overcome. 

“Your acceptance of us as who we are, and ability to see the good in people, is inspirational. Having MPAC involved here creates a whole new atmosphere.” – Matt

While recidivism in Maine, as in the nation, still averages 67 percent, MPAC’s work creates another reality in which incarcerated Mainers are more likely to receive crucial assistance that can make the difference between returning to prison or finding a place in our communities. What this means is: 

Incarcerated men and women are exposed to alternatives and hope.
Families are more likely to stay intact or are reunited.
With a rise in wage earners, businesses increase profits and communities have less crime.
Costs are lowered. Advocacy reduces tax dollars and MPAC’s services are free.

“I know I'm still young with plenty of life to live. Sometimes I just need 
to be reminded about how decent life can be.” – Sean

Essential prisoner advocacy in Maine:

MPAC volunteers and jail and prison residents are grateful for your support. Your contribution will deeply affect positive assistance for incarcerated men and women and ex-prisoners throughout the coming year. Rather than short-term help, MPAC’s projects mobilize whole system change, with a long-term commitment. MPAC nurtures leadership from those who have been excluded from resources, power, and the right to active self-determination. 

We particularly appreciate your assistance, since the nature of our innovative projects for prisoners makes conventional funding a challenge. And, your contribution is tax deductible through MPAC’s fiscal sponsor, Resources for Organizing and Social Change-ROSC, a 501c3 charitable organization (resourcesforsocialchange.org).

Now, more than ever before, MPAC needs assistance to combat regressive ideas and indifference toward Maine's prisoners and their families.

Thank you for your support and caring.

Judy Garvey and Jim Bergin, for MPAC Board of Directors 

“You have all blessed my life mightily through your kindness and never failing support. Keep shining on.” – Ed