Maine Cuts Supermax Population, Reforms Solitary Confinement Practices

As Lance Tapley reported last week, recent developments in Maine demonstrate the difference that reform-minded leadership can make to prison conditions, including the¬†use and¬†abuse of solitary confinement. Even as it has grown exponentially over recent decades, the use of solitary¬†has generally been treated not as a human rights issue but as a matter of correctional […]

Maine Legislature Votes to Study Solitary Confinement Practices--But Not to Change Them

Everyone concerned with solitary confinement has been closely watching a landmark effort in the Maine state legislature to pass a bill that would have significantly limited the practice in state prisons. On Monday that effort culminated in what some advocates¬†have called a “gutted” version of the bill–and others see as a meaningful first step toward […]

The Maine Redemption: Bill Seeks to Restrict Use of Solitary in State's Prisons

Most Americans’ knowledge of the Maine prison system probably ends with the grim, gray penitentiary depicted in¬†The Shawshank Redemption.¬†¬†But the prison of Stephen King’s¬†imagination is a benign place compared with the current reality of incarceration in Maine’s state prisons–especially its 100-man solitary confinement unit. Conditions in¬†the¬†lockdown unit¬†have become the subject of public debate in recent […]