July 25, 2011
by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
A new article in The Crime Report describes a “dramatic reduction of solitary confinement” in Maine State Prison. The changes have taken place under the leadership of a new Commissioner of Corrections, Joseph Ponte–and under a Republican governor and state legislature. But as author Lance Tapley points out, the path to reform was paved by a grassroots political movement that last year pressed for legislation to limit the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons and jails. While that effort failed, it clearly influenced the subsequent reforms.
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