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

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Death-penalty critic Sister Helen Prejean

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MPAC's Statewide Strategy Meeting -- Sat, JUNE 6, 2020, 10 a.m.-noon
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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.

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

Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Preventable / Natural Deaths in 
Maine Prisons 
This page was last updated: May 22, 2020
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 
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
Private Prison in Maine Shenna Bellows,MCLU
Privatized Prison Medical Care is Sick
Lance Tapley, The Portland Phoenix
MDOC undermines re-entry with new public database
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
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
Aging Maine Prisoner Population Issues Addressed
Wisely, Maine gave firm no to private prisons
Lewiston Sun Journal Editorial 
Tell a friend about this page
Prison Reform Under LePage  
Joe Steinberger, The Free Press
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
Our View: Troubled prison has right person in charge  Portland Press Herald Editorial
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
‘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
Prison reforms take Maine in right direction: Portland Press Herald Editorial
Michael James sent back to prison
Untreatable? The Portland Phoenix, Lance Tapley
Frontline - Solitary Confinement
Portland Phoenix Editorial
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
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
[Joseph F. Daoust] dies at Somerset County Jail  Bangor Daily News, by Dawn Gagnon
Cory Peaslee, a former guard at the Maine State Prison target of harsh hazing. Amelia Kunhardt/Staff Photographer
Riverview nurse hospitalized in attack by angry patientKennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel, Betty Adams
Riverview patient faces charges after rampage, Kennebeck Journal, Betty Adams
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
Ban the Box in Maine artwork by ARRT
Maine State Prison inmate dies of natural causes, Bangor Daily News, Stephen Betts
Prisoner advocates offer background for coverage of Maine corrections Letter to the Portland Phoenix from Joseph Jackson, MPAC Coordinator

Maine Proposed Legislation
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.
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]
MPAC Coordinator Joseph Jackson speaking at "The Struggle Continues" Conference
Inmate [Harold Gleason] dies at MCCRyan McLaughlin, Bangor Daily News
[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
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
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
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
If we deny rights to Maine prisoners, we undercut liberties of all
Arielle Greenberg Bywater, Special to the Bangor Daily News
Maine Voices: Allow inmates the power of a pen
Arielle Greenberg, Special to the Telegram
Maine Voices: Criminal justice system needs fix
Sen. Susan Collins should join the bipartisan effort to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.

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
Public Comment on Proposed Communication Changes
Inmate dies at Cumberland County Jail
Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News
Prisoner dies at Maine Correctional Center
Wayne Patrick King dies Sunday
Website © 2008 - 2018 Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
MPAC, Maine Works partner to help with prisoner re-entry with Margo Walsh & Joseph Jackson
Margo Walsh & Joseph Jackson
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
2017-2018 MPAC Annual Appeal 
To Donate, use our PayPal link above.
“As an inmate, I would like to thank you. It’s important to me that someone is out there
standing up for the rights of inmates. Knowing all the good work you’re doing definitely gives me motivation to stay positive.” – Jonathan

Fall-Winter 2017-18

Dear Friend of Humane and Restorative Justice,

As Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC) moves into our 11th year, with achievable goals and actions planned, we deeply appreciate your generosity to Maine’s incarcerated men, women, and youth. Because of your support, access to a JUST and EQUAL society for all Mainers is becoming a reality.

MPAC’s work – led by Maine’s incarcerated men and women, former prisoners, their families, and victims of crime – is possible because of people like you who understand the ethical, practical, and humane changes needed in Maine's prison and justice systems.

Many Maine citizens are directly affected by incarceration. Nationally, one 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, impacts our towns, more people are incarcerated and costs rise in terms of taxes and loss of hope. We’re fortunate to have a handful of alternatives here; but these don’t affect most people. Yet, everyone benefits from MPAC’s push toward Fair Chance (Ban the Box) Legislation, Sentencing Guidelines Revisions, Supervised Community Confinement, Ending the abuse of Solitary Confinement, Improving Medical oversight, Keeping private for-profit prisons out of Maine,
Retaining prisoners’ voting rights, and Training New Leaders from the very people we represent.

MPAC acts as the primary state watchdog for potentially dysfunctional and inhumane prison disciplinary policies. We interact closely with Maine’s Department of Corrections (MDOC), Legislators, incarcerated citizens, and advocacy colleagues ACLU, NAACP, NAMI, and many more to reduce the psychological trauma of incarceration, so when a prisoner is released, he or she has a chance to reenter society with positive options and support essential to making better choices, independent living, and avoiding recidivism. Through MPAC’s involvement incarcerated adults and youth are exposed to alternatives and hope; families are more likely to stay intact or are reunited; communities have reduced levels of crime, and businesses increase profits because of the increased number of good wage earners. Advocacy reduces recidivism and tax dollars ($40,000-$60,000) spent per year on each prisoner, and MPAC’s services are free.

Ending Racism and Youth Incarceration: MPAC’s Coordinator, Joseph Jackson, and Assistant Coordinator, Jan Collins, are leading MPAC to enact long overlooked changes to end structural racism in Maine’s prisons in partnership with NAACP-prison and Portland branches, Long Timers Group, and MPAC’s Prisoners Committee. And to increase MPAC’s mentoring and intervention for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth, MPAC’s Youth Team has created new programs for grassroots leadership training, communication skills, post-release needs, and individual advocacy.

Less well known and deeply important gains: MPAC convinced the MDOC to: 1) End the practice of cell saturation with chemical agents; 2) Rescind the practice of prohibiting family members convicted of misdemeanor drug offenses, and former MDOC employees from visiting incarcerated loved ones; 3) Reverse its policy punishing mentally ill prisoners for self-mutilation; 4) Revoke its policy of mass strip searches; 5) Consider addiction treatment in lieu of solitary confinement for failed urinalysis tests. These seemingly simple steps are first-of-a-kind milestones in Maine compared to prison policy in the country as a whole. At the community and state levels, MPAC works with multiple organizations to help create housing, employment, health treatment, and resources for successful reentry into families and jobs.

Essential prisoner advocacy in Maine:

The nature of MPAC’s innovative projects for prisoners often makes conventional funding a challenge. This reality makes MPAC volunteers, on the outside and the inside of Maine’s jails and prisons, doubly grateful for your support. Your contribution will deeply affect our positive assistance throughout the coming year. Rather than short-term help, MPAC’s projects mobilize whole system change with long-term commitment. Together we nurture leadership from those who have been excluded from resources, power, and the right to active self-determination.

Please remember that your contribution is tax deductible through MPAC’s fiscal sponsor, Resources for Organizing and Social Change-ROSC, a 501c3 charitable organization. www.resourcesforsocialchange.org

Now, more than ever before, MPAC needs your assistance to combat regressive ideas and
indifference toward Maine's prisoners and their families. For everyone MPAC helps, there is a powerful ripple in Maine’s communities.

Thank you for your support and caring.

Judy Garvey and Jim Bergin, for MPAC Board of Directors
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC)

“The shared stories of personal experiences, along with all the work you’re doing to impact
Maine’s prison system, are very powerful messages for young adults. We are awed by the
knowledge and power you bring to every organization you touch.” – Susan, NHCC Brunswick​
Listen: Meeting on Long Creek Policies Postponed
Susan Sharon, Maine Public  ~  November 29, 2016
Restoring Face to Face Visits in Maine Correctional Facilities
Hancock County Jail to Install Video Phones
The Hancock County Jail is changing the style of visitation for inmates and their loved-ones from face-to-face through glass to a video system similar to Skyping.
Jennifer Osborne, Ellsworth American
Dear Friends ~

A new visitor's policy will go into effect on January 9, 2017. Below you will find a link to "Maine State Prison - Visitor's Guide Book" PDF file.

An important change in policy can be found in the section regarding the metal detector.

* Visitors will be allowed three attempts to successfully pass through the metal detector. If the visitor does not successfully pass through the detector within three attempts, they will not be granted a visit. The only exceptions are people with medical implants who have provided proof from a provider.

It is extremely frustrating to have a visit denied, especially having traveled a long distance.

Here is a link to the Maine State Prison - Visitor's Guide

Thank you,

With the recent changes in Maine State and County Correctional Facility Inmate Visits, we are offering links to local papers to send letters to the editors if you would like:  

• Ellsworth American
(Ellsworth American is a weekly paper, and letters should arrive by Monday. They take 350 word letters, but may consider longer.)

• Bangor Daily News
​(Bangor Daily News is a daily paper -- covering Hancock County as well other counties in Maine -- wants only 250 words but will take 600-700 for an OpEd.)

Inmates & MPAC Thank you!!
Screening Out the Family
Editorial, Ellsworth American
May 5th, 9 a.m., State House, Room 436

LD 1414 - In Person Visitation in County Jails

LD 1415 - Deductions from a sentence for Educational Completion    

 For info on bill, enter LD number into search category here:
Maine Legislature Bill Tracking & Text
Report Calls for End to Youth Incarceration
Susan Sharon, Maine Public
Our Opinion: Maine should lead on closing youth prisons
Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
Maine youth prison lays off nearly half its teachers
Jake Bleiberg, Bangor Daily News
LePage commutes 17 prisoner sentences
Jake Bleiberg, Bangor Daily News
Featuring MPAC partner - Maine​ Works and the work they do...
What ex-cons say they need to stay out of jail
Chris Costa, WCSH
Anthony Sanborn, Maine's first convicted killer to be released on bail, gets a taste of freedom
He is adjusting to a world that left him behind during nearly three decades spent behind bars.
Matt Bryne, Portland Press Herald
Maine jail guard charged with drug smuggling
Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News

Life Changes, 
acrylic by Roy.
click to see larger image
Joseph Jackson by river that he fishes in.
MPAC Co-Coordinator Joseph Jackson
MPAC Co-coordinator, Joseph Jackson
Inmate dies at Maine State Prison
Deane Brown Dies, long time MPAC friend
Portland Press Herald
New Address
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
PO Box 446
Lisbon, ME 04250
Please Click to Read:
Maine Prisoners' MDOC Proposal: Feasibility Study 
to Determine Utility of Reentry Programming