With Robin Rage on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Justin Rowell-Savage on lead and backing vocals (ie, Hannibal Lector,) Matt Moscillo on drums and backing vocals (“I’m not that hungry, Mrs. Steele!”) Tim “Quiet Thunder” Hawkins on bass.  Produced and recorded by Jim Svensen and Guitardoors.org, a non-profit which records incarcerated musicians.

Thanks, Jim.

Rage

I’m always feeling so uncomfortable

when the situation seems to be predictable

All hope slips through the trained fingers.

That’s how it has always been.

I can’t seem to tear myself away.

Been living in the past with my mistakes.

But I always find a way to numb the tension.

I bury thoughts alone

Under the skin to hide the damage done to my defenses.

My senses dulled then cracked

And I concede that

Maybe

I’m unsure of just what it takes

To frustrate and dismantle apathy

Rain

Please wash away temptations

Before I let them get the best of me.

– Ember McLane

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imagePlease help:  ● Spread the word.  ● Testify in person or online.  ● Contact members of the Committee directly. Your stories are important and legislators need to hear them.

LD 2987, Ban the Box on employment applications, is scheduled for Public Hearing on Feb 19 at 10 am, in front of the Labor and Housing Committee in room 202 of the Cross Building, next to the State House.

To help learn more about this bill, I attach an overview of “Fair Chance—Ban the Box” ideas. Also, I attach a research study of Ban the Box in the city and county of Durham, NC that we will be distributing to members of the Committee so feel free to refer to it.

You can testify in person or by submitting written testimony online, which is printed and distributed to the committee members. If you testify in person try to bring 20 copies of your testimony to be distributed to the Committee.

There is a 3 minute time limit when testifying in person. This Committee uses a clock so be prepared. Written testimony can be as long as you wish.

At the beginning of your verbal and written testimony, clearly note your name and town of residence. At the beginning of your written testimony clearly note which bill you are testifying about and your position on the bill (support, oppose or neither).

You can submit testimony online at any time after the Public Hearing has been announced. To submit testimony and read some guidelines, go to https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/.

Your stories are important and legislators need to hear them. Have you or someone you know had trouble finding employment with a criminal record?

If you would like to talk about participating or would like assistance, please feel free to call or send me an email.

I am trying to keep our legislative agenda list up to date so click here to view it and bookmark the file to check back later.

Yours in Love and Service,

Peter

PS: Clicking the LD numbers above links you to the legislative site where you can read the text of the bills, read the list of sponsors, see changes in schedule, and follow their progress. 

 

 

Peter Lehman

Legislative Coordinator

Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition

Thomaston, Maine

(207) 542-1496

Committed to ethical, positive, and humane changes in Maine’s prison system

The Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.
by Gabor Degre | BDN

“Maine faces a severe prisoner population problem. The number of inmates incarcerated in … county jails has grown far beyond expectations in recent years, stressing the capacity of existing facilities and showing no sign of slowing down.”

This statement could have been made yesterday by a county sheriff or state correctional official.

It was not. Rather, it is from the opening page of a 2004 report by Report of the Commission to Improve the Sentencing, Supervision, Management and Incarceration of Prisoners.

More than 15 years later, another task force on holding inmates who are awaiting trial has been reconvened. A task force that looked at improving the county jail funding system recently completed a report. Meanwhile, the number of inmates who have mental health and substance use concerns continues to swell.

And, this week, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton told county officials that his facility would soon spend more than $1 million a year to house inmates at other facilities because the Bangor jail routinely exceeds its capacity. County officials are finalizing details on a proposed new, larger jail. We support a new facility with an emphasis on better meeting inmate needs. Not to hold more of them.

Suffice it to say, not much has changed in 15 years except for the increasing stress on county jails and their staffs. The overcrowding and lack of alternatives also harms inmates and their families.

An easy answer, of course, is to send fewer people to jail. While it sounds simplistic, it is the one answer that makes the most sense. Getting there, of course, is the difficulty. It will take time and money — and resolve.

Community treatment facilities — which were envisioned long ago by an agreement that shrank the state’s mental institutions — will need to be built and funded. More than three times as many seriously mentally ill Americans are in jails and prisons than they are in hospitals, according to a 2010 study done for the National Sheriff’s Association and Treatment Advocacy Center.

More judges need to be hired to move cases through the courts more quickly. More than two-thirds of county jail inmates in Maine are awaiting court dates. That’s nearly a two-fold increase since 1993. Many can’t afford bail, highlighting the need for changes to Maine’s bail system.

Maine has studied these problems for decades. It has a roadmap for solving them. What’s needed now is the political will — and yes, the money — to put recommendations made by several task forces and reviews into action.

It is important to note that this growing stress on our corrections system comes at a time when crime is down in Maine.

The total number of crimes reported in Maine dropped for the seventh straight year in 2018, according to data the Maine Department of Public Safety released in October. The total number of reported crimes has fallen by more than 40 percent in Maine since 2009.

Yet, in Bangor, the number of inmates in the county jail continues to exceed capacity. The Penobscot County jail has a state-approved capacity of 157 inmates, which it frequently exceeds. The Maine Department of Corrections has said it will soon enforce that limit to meet standards, which led Morton to warn Penobscot County Commissioners to expect higher bills for boarding out prisoners.

The jail has averaged about 175 inmates in recent days. In addition, the county has paid other correctional facilities to house about 55 inmates, a practice called “boarding out.” Nearly 100 people sentenced to serve time in the jail are living in the community on pretrial release under the supervision of Maine Pretrial Services.

While Penobscot County has the most chronic overcrowding problem, this is a statewide concern that requires statewide action.

Holding fewer people to jail is at the heart of the solution.

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Write to Kenny via:

Maine State Prison – Kenneth McDonald – MDOC #114427

807 Cushing Road – Warren, Maine 04864-4600

Because of the attention currently being given to the proposed enormous new jail in Bangor, this is a key moment for action.
Letters to the editor are needed. Doesn’t matter where you live. We need letters to call for changes (bail reform, issuing of more summonses, alternative sentencing programs, investments in community-based mental health services, etc), not ever-bigger places of incarceration.
A link to the “No Jail Expansion” group’s website is at the bottom of this message. We believe a better jail is needed in Penobscot County, but not a bigger one. Not a single additional metal bunk or locked cell. Mass incarceration has failed us. It’s been a disastrous waste of public resources, human potential and moral capital.
At some point, we have to draw a line and say…no more! This is the time. It’s not an issue solely for Penobscot County. It’s a debate for all of Maine.
Letters can be very brief. Just a couple of short paragraphs will do. I’m here to assist, if anyone wants ideas or help in drafting a letter. They can be quickly and easily submitted to the BDN using the link below.
Thanks for everyone’s time, concern and efforts.
Doug Dunbar
javascript:openWindow(‘video.html’,’video’, 720, 410);
Submit a letter or column — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Submit a letter or column — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Submit a letter or column page from the Bangor Daily News. Maine news, sports, politics, election results, and o…

NO JAIL EXPANSION

NO JAIL EXPANSION

“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better” Maya Angelou

To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/mainers-against-solitary-confinement/1568059870.2548738.1581810150856%40mail.yahoo.com.

For information on hot topics in incarcerations and recovery, please visit

Voices from the Other Side.

Voices from the Other Side

Thank you!

Isaac
host/ producer

 

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Please join us at our next MPAC Statewide Strategy Meeting

Saturday, April 11, 2020 . 10 a.m. – noon
Harbor Peer & Wellness, 35 School St, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04358
 

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“I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children & your children’s children & generations yet unborn we’ve got to guard this moment. This is our watch.” – Elijah Cummings

In the age of Fuck-Fuck corrections, one might wonder how anything gets done, any thing at all.  What is Fuck-Fuck corrections, you ask?  I’ll tell you what Fuck-Fuck corrections are.  Fuck-Fuck corrections is the act of making things look like they are making progress or improvement.  Fuck-Fuck corrections is: the shuffling of people here, moving them there, cutting fat here, stream-lining the system from top to bottom.  Now, Fuck-Fuck corrections might not be such a bad thing, except is is absolutely nothing more than the ILLUSION of progress.  In reality Fuck-Fuck corrections is nothing more than slight-of-hand with a marked deck of cards.  Fuck-Fuck corrections don’t make things better, they move one incompetent person after another into some new job, they don’t understand , nor could they accomplish it if they did understand it.

Maine Correctional Center (M.C.C.) has been going through it’s own phase of Fuck-Fuck corrections of late, C.O.’s sent here, C.O.’s sent there; back and forth and on and on and on and up and down and inside out and not a god-damn thing gets better!  Not one god-damn thing!  Same incompetent people performing someone else’s job or something like that.  DON’T BELIEVE ME?  Then tell me how a competent staff person, in a competently run facility could forget to process the paperwork, or forgets to pass it along to the right person for inmates getting out of jail.  YES!  In the last two months at M.C.C., the staff has FAILED to properly process or handle the paperwork of two inmates who had “done their time;”  HONEST.  How the hell does that happen?  How the hell can you let an inmate languish in anxiety to go home after he has served month after year in prison?  How the hell does that happen?  I’ll tell you how it happens:

“FUCK-FUCK CORRECTIONS”

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imageOn Feb 13, 2020, at 4:12 PM, Peter Lehman <peter.growinme@gmail.com> wrote:
I just learned that a public hearing on LD 1421, An Act To Amend the Maine Bail Code, sponsored by Rep. Talbot Ross is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 1:05 pm in the Judiciary Committee at the State House. I’ve attached to this email the language that is being proposed to replace the current bill.
 
The key things that this bill does:
  • Eliminates the ability for judicial officers to impose cash bail on people arrested and charged with most Class E crimes (certain DV-related crimes are still going to have cash bail)
  • Eliminates the ability for judicial officers to impose bail conditions that allow police to randomly search people for drugs or alcohol if they’ve been given the bail condition that they not possess or use drugs/alcohol
  • Requires judicial officers to consider, when deciding whether to give bail and what kind of bail to give, whether a defendant is a primary caregiver to another person, whether a defendant is receiving health care treatment (including mental health care) outside of jail or whether that treatment would be better provided outside of jail, and whether a person could lose their job if they don’t get out on bail.
I know it’s really short notice, but for those who can’t make it and would like to submit testimony, the website to do that is here. On the pull-down menu, you would select Judiciary Committee, then select February 18, 1:05pm, and then click on LD 1421.
 
For guidelines and other information about testifying, see my previous emails. 
 
Thanks to Meagan Sway of ACLU Maine for this valuable information. 
 
Yours in Love and Service, 
 
Peter Lehman
Legislative Coordinator
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Thomaston, Maine
(207) 542-1496
Committed to ethical, positive, and humane changes in Maine’s prison system

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

Only your vigilance on the outside can guarrentee that justice goes on on the inside.

If you'd like to contact one of our inmate bloggers, send us an email.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.