I am currently incarcerated at the Maine Department of Corruptions in Windham, Maine. Prior to this I had done no jail time, county time included. The first thing i got to experience was the state’s “overflow tool,” the Pods. A place in which all walks of prison community get to mingle, from minimum security inmates to maximum security inmates. Apparently the aim of these pods is to give the staff to classify our security level, which takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks. I got to spend 6 weeks in the pods.

From there I was placed in a program called the “Supervised Community Confinement Program,” essentially house arrest. I came into this program with very high hopes of success. But as the days went on, I got to witness the manner in which things were carried out. I was informed of a 96% success rate, but later was informed that placement in halfway homes were included in this figure. In the time that I have been here I have seen approximately 8 men leave, 3 of whom actually went home. This has been very discouraging to say the least. False hopes hurt, but the worst part is the hope it provides to my fiancee and 8 month old son. Such matters do not really seem to hold imperativeness to the staff here.

I am unsure to validity of this comment, but I assume such a program must bring in some sort of federal funding. I say this because I receive a stipend check from the state every month for just being a body in the program, no work, no schooling, just being there. There are certain things that must be completed to attain the house arrest. One being an enlightening course called, “Thinking for a Change,” that teaches such priceless skills as listening, asking questions and assessing high risk thoughts. And the other being an intensive outpatient program for alcohol/drug dependency.

Being in here, many of the question I have are left unanswered. Such as, is there federal funding? Are such placements of house arrest pre-determined? What is the rate of individuals sent home on house arrest? Granted most of the questions cannot be answered through any amount of research or records accessible to the public, it may easy my mind a bit. Other issues I have are overstaffing, word is there are 3 dieticians and 9 cooks. Hard telling not knowing, I guess. Or my roommate was a master carpenter; he worked in the wood shop for 1.10 an hour. Top of the line work is almost an understatement, my question is, the sale of such work from an artisan, where does the money go? To us the inmates or paying wages?

I guess really I just want to provoke thought into you. We pay very high taxes in Maine, and after seeing a jail work from the inside, I think I see how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

– Josh McKay
MDOC# 05820

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