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AUGUSTA — Tonia Kigas Porter was freed from state custody Friday for the first time in almost 20 years.

The 49-year-old woman had been committed to the commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services after being found not criminally responsible for murder for starving her 5-year-old daughter to death in 1993 in Bangor.

A judge in Kennebec County Superior Court ordered Porter discharged after the state, her psychiatrist and the State Forensic Service said they all supported it for Porter, who most recently was diagnosed and treated for cancer.

“She has managed those losses and difficulties with great dignity,” said Ann LeBlanc, director of the State Forensic Service.

Porter has been living in Augusta and doing volunteer work there for years and getting support from people in the community.

Justice Donald Marden asked LeBlanc what Porter’s reaction would be to seeing her photo in the newspaper.

“She’s learned one day your picture shows up on the front page and two days later, people forget about it,” LeBlanc said.

Marden said statements by those testifying on Friday convinced him that Porter has worked hard to recover.

“There’s no question Ms. Porter bears a heavy burden,” Marden said.

J. Mitchell Flick, Porter’s attorney, told the judge Porter is particularly conscientious about taking her medication and “extremely likely to succeed.”

Assistant Attorney General Laura Yustak Smith said that once Porter recovered from her severe psychosis, she was distressed and remorseful about what she had done.

“I think it’s a good thing when a person recognizes how serious it was and has the remorse because that’s the beginning of the recovery and can give the public some comfort that the person knows this was a bad thing,” Yustak Smith said.

Porter was committed to state custody in 1995.

Yustak Smith said she contacted family members of the victim prior to the hearing to discuss Porter’s potential discharge, and learned one was deceased and the other did not want to attend the hearing.

Porter hugged treatment providers and others from Riverview Psychiatric Center and from the hospital’s Assertive Community Treatment Team.

She is expected to continue with community-based treatment.

During a separate hearing in the same court Friday, Kirk T. Lambert also was discharged from the custody of the commissioner.

Lambert, 33, had been committed to state custody in 2000, following a verdict of not criminally responsible for robbery in an incident in which his lawyer said he wheeled a TV out of Walmart.

LeBlanc testified that Lambert was admitted to Riverview “and he stabilized quite quickly on medications.” She also said he has been dealing with an ongoing substance abuse issue.

Lambert has moved several times between the state hospital and the community, and several witnesses said he appeared overly dependent on Riverview and it was time for him to move on now that his mental illness is being treated and there has been no evidence of psychosis.

Instead of readmitting him recently, LeBlanc said, the hospital offered him a list of homeless shelters.

LeBlanc described Lambert, whose head is shaved, as “a good hair cutter,” and a person who is creative and makes beautiful quilts.

She said it appeared unlikely he would injure himself or others and that he plans to move to northern Maine where his father is a registered Maine Guide.

“He has been clean and sober for six months and quite committed to staying clean and sober,” she said.

LeBlanc said Lambert “was compassionate to other people with major mental illness who couldn’t help themselves.”

In March 2013, Lambert was a patient at Riverview when he was credited with rescuing a mental health worker there who was under attack by another patient.

The state, through Assistant District Attorney David Spencer, raised no objection to Lambert’s release.

“You are entitled to be discharged and have worked hard to bring yourself to this position,” Marden told Lambert. “You have some issues that you’re really going to have to stay on top of if you’re going to stay out of trouble.”

Marden warned him that people who don’t address substance issues “become very involved in the criminal justice system. In the final analysis, what happens is entirely up to you.”

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January 29, 1996| From Associated Press

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WATERVILLE, Maine — Four nuns were beaten and stabbed after a prayer service in their convent, and a man who allegedly bludgeoned at least one of them with a religious statue was in custody.

Two of the nuns died and the other two were hospitalized Sunday.

Police did not know a motive for the attacks Saturday night at the convent of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, according to Stephen McCausland of the state Public Safety Department.

The Roman Catholic nuns had finished an evening prayer service when the intruder smashed the glass on a locked door, opened it and walked inside. One of the women was attacked in the chapel and the other three in an adjacent part of the convent.

Mark A. Bechard, 37, of Waterville, who had a history of mental problems, surrendered without resistance when police arrived.

The officers “took Mr. Bechard off one nun he was beating,” said Police Chief John Morris. Bechard was using a religious statue to beat the woman, police said.

Morris said that Bechard was known to the nuns and had worshiped in their chapel.

The convent’s five other nuns were in seclusion and did not answer calls Sunday. A sign taped to the inside of the locked chapel door said: “Chapel closed except for Mass. Pray for us.”

Mother Superior Edna Mary Cardozo, 68, died of head injuries Saturday at a hospital in Augusta. Sister Mary Julien Fortin, 67, died early Sunday of multiple stab wounds to the face and head, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Sister Mary Anna DiGiacomo, 72, was in serious condition early today, and Sister Patricia Keane, 68, was in good condition.

Bechard was charged with one count of murder. Other charges are expected to be filed this week. He is being held without bail.

 

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g.raff1

There’s a heavy weight that becomes heavy in the silence.

It comes from the absence of me and the discernment from around the room.

Here it goes.  The pairing of new things together.

The matching game.

Coffee avalanche stare from a bleak overture of some sun in the face of a grandkid I maybe once had.

How you do.  And get through lovingly on the back of a female dragon.

Toothless bandit, holding air in his hands asking me, “What can I do?”

Lumberjack wack!

Well, I’ll be… you old drunk I love you, you cocksucking son of a bitch whore bastard.

As I am,

As I will be today

As I will live each day

fully.

– ~ G.Raff

g.raff1

 

4,900 people from Maine are behind bars today – Prisonpolicy.org

Pie chart showing that 3,800 Maine residents are locked up in federal prisons, state prisons, local jails and other types of facilities

Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years

graph showing the number of people in state prison and local jails per 100,000 residents in Maine from 1978 to 2015Also see these Maine graphs:

Graph showing the number of people in Maine jails who were convicted and the number who were unconvicted, for the years 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005, and 2013.

Today, Maine’s incarceration rates stand out internationally

graphic comparing the incarceration rates of the founding NATO members with the incarceration rates of the United States and the state of Maine. The incarceration rate of 698 per 100,000 for the United States and 363 for Maine is much higher than any of the founding NATO membersIn the U.S., incarceration extends beyond prisons and local jails to include other systems of confinement. The U.S. and state incarceration rates in this graph include people held by these other parts of the justice system, so they may be slightly higher than the commonly reported incarceration rates that only include prisons and jails. Details on the data are available in States of Incarceration: The Global Context. We also have a version of this graph focusing on the incarceration of women.

People of color are overrepresented in prisons and jails

2010 graph showing incarceration rates per 100,000 people of various racial and ethnic groups in Maine

racial and ethnic disparities between the prison/jail and general population in ME as of 2010See also our detailed graphs about WhitesBlacks, and American Indians/Native Americans in Maine prisons and jails.

Maine’s criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails

Pie chart showing that 10,000 Maine residents are in various types of correctional facilities or under criminal justice supervision on probation or parole

Dear Future Self,

May you please always remember to be kind and grateful, and always be spontaneous and responsible; let your duties be your first priority.

Duties:

Stay vigilant and on course, bringing a solid blessing of unconditional love.

Let go of all that you need to bring you closer to God.

Let your channel be open to Healing Light.

Be aware and keep dreaming up new ideas into reality.

Be faithful to love from the Heavens.

Take time to work things out, never rush.

Always be still and wait for the right response.

~ G.Raff

g.raff1

Setting boundaries…

Grounded in reality.

 

Smoking weed creates bad Karma for me,

Because I end up in patterns,

Magnetic pull to darker matter that i’d rather not get into,

Uncomfortability.

 

Nature walks, meditation, writing, reacting,

Drawing, exercising, drinking water, praying daily,

Giving thanks, being in the present moment,

Not attaching to concepts,

But observing rationally what they represent to the the bigger picture.

Medication, structured living environment,

Positive Decisions,

PRCC, AA meetings, African Museum, and Isaac.

 

Rage.

 

I want to be a productive member of this community.

Love and Rockets,

Maggie

g.raff1

Dear people,

Tell junkies to finally listen to you and get sub doctors, so that they have a better chance at a happy life, and if they can help their addiction, the weight will be lifted and true freedom will beckon them.  Be fearless and beautiful, because every single junkie needs to follow your example for it.  Do the deeds and the deeds will be done, no matter how many times we attempt it.  If all else fails, we’ll all fail.

Love,

G.Raff

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Dearest people,

It is well in this psychiatric facility.  If feels like a poopy diaper and a petri dish.  I realize that the darker I get about food old childhood says, the more comfortable I become and happily balanced between love and surrender.  Essentially, my life was a pretty good one.  And then it went to shit, and I love myself for it.  I can be both crazy and abiding and still love the life I hate.  That’s just my little spew I’e been doing for as long as my first memories.  Cracking my neck finally.

I just feel stoned by my grittiest thoughts making me fall into the leaf–covered traps.  I”m on and off between my true feeling and the realest of reality feelings.  I can’t come to grips with it.  Help me from having myself like that childhood weird tongue-ly taste buds would perturb that stroke of genius.  I hate feeling that cloud of power, and I think I might like Gary Jules right now.

Love, Maggie

She thought slowly,

between what two things amazed her at the moment –

the beauty of the ocean of loving, calm commotion,

and now the moon.

  • Maggie

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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.

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