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Press Herald is Corrections' apologist

The Portland Press Herald has taken its political criticism to a new low:

Not only did a Friday editoral fail to note that the Corrections policy of moving inmates from prison to a jail is in violation of a federal court order rediscovered by the Portland Phoenix and reported on in the June 29 issue, but Sunday's column by obscurer-in-chief Bill Nemitz makes no note of the fact that the Maine Department of Corrections has been failing to treat mentally ill inmates for their medical conditions for more than 18 months. (See, "Torture in Maine's Prison," by Lance Tapley, November 11, 2005.)

We all know that the Press Herald hates to let on that anyone else has a scoop - much less admit they've been scooped continuously for 20 months - but it's becoming dangerous to the public, and to the Press Herald's credibility.

The public needs to know that dangerously disturbed people are released every day from Maine prisons, and have never been treated for mental illness, though many of them are diagnosed, as you can hear in this Maine Public Broadcasting Network report. The Corrections Department is doing nothing, and thereby endangering not only the lives of inmates (and former inmates), but also the lives of the public.

And for the Press Herald's credibility, the paper should acknowledge and bring to light the serious problems that exist, or risk looking as if they don't know what everyone else in Maine knows - that Maine inmates are tortured and mistreated by Maine prison guards in Maine-taxpayer-funded prisons.

Here, for reference by Press Herald reporters, editors, and columnists, are links to the entire body of work by Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley, on the terrible conditions at the Maine State Prison (for inmates without mental illness as well as for those who are suffering from various forms of mental illness).

Note the most recent article, which reveals that a freelance writer for the Maine Sunday Telegram was a party to a lawsuit 35 years ago that resulted in a federal court order opening the prisons to free and unfettered reporting. Where's the Press Herald/Sunday Telegram now? It's quite a shift in 35 years.

In chronological order from November 2005 to the present:

Torture in Maine’s Prison, November 11, 2005

Reforming the Supermax, November 18, 2005

Pressure Rising, March 24, 2006

Arbitrary Imprisonment, July 21, 2006

Death in the Supermax, October 13, 2006

Hunger Strike at Maine’s Supermax Prison, October 18, 2006

Baldacci’s ‘Political Prisoner,’ November 17, 2006

Lockdown: What do Prison Officials Have to Hide?, December 15, 2006

sidebar: Stonewalling is Normal, December 15, 2006

Sluggish Response to Suicide, January 5, 2007

Brown Defense Team Enlarging, January 12, 2007

An Insult to Justice, February 2, 2007 — Lance Tapley’s speech upon receiving the Maine State Bar Association’s Excellence in Legal Journalism Award

Cracks in the Armor, February 2, 2007

Prison Guards Suit Up, March 16, 2007

Prison Madness Explained, March 30, 2007

Punish the Mentally Ill!, April 13, 2007

Prisoners as Commodities, April 27, 2007

Prisoner Gagged, May 4, 2007

Inmate Sues Officials in Federal Court, May 18, 2007

Maine Prison Bosses Violate Court Orders, June 29, 2007 — with links to images of the court orders

sidebar: Press Behind Bars, June 29, 2007

sidebar: Waves of Activism, June 29, 2007



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