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When I was sentenced, back in March of 2010, I made sure that my lawyer extracted a stipulation from the judge that my fine payments would be postponed until five months following my release.  I still have the court order: no fine payments required.  So why, oh why, does M.C.C. continue to deduct this dreaded 25% from every dime that gets sent into me?  I’ve heard many, many conspiracy theories:

“The warden puts the 25% into a Swiss bank account.”

“The jail puts 25% of all of our money into a CaymanIslandbank account. When you leave, then you’ll get back your money, but while you’re here, our cash is generating tons of interest for them down in the Caymans!  Think about it: the interest alone would keep you in whoopee pies, like, forever.”

“It’s because the world outside has no idea that they do this to us!  If they only knew…”

Well, I finally wrote to inmate accounts (“Don’t do it, dude!  Don’t let the MAN know that you’re onto Him!!”), and instead of one of those standard responses (e.g. “we’re working on it.”  Or, “we’ll look into it.” Or, the standard Rick Robinson answer: “Wow.  Now that’s a good question.”)  they actually sent me back a copy of the law pertaining to restitution.  Like to hear it?  Here it goes:

 

From 17-A § 1330-A:  3. Restitution; absolute.  The requirements imposed on a prisoner by this section to pay restitution and fines during incarceration apply regardless of whether the court order to pay restitution or fines constitutes a sentence or is imposed as a condition of probation, regardless of whether payment has been stayed in the court order and regardless of whether the prisoner’s incarceration resulted from a revocation of probation.

 

What the above means is that it doesn’t matter what a court has promised me as far as fines go.  The devil will get its pound of flesh.  So there we have it.  A conspiracy in which the staff at M.C.C. ferrets our money away in a secret bank account in order to invest the interest in nefarious whoopee pie ventures?  Myth busted.

Hey taxpayers. Did you know that, up at Windham, the building where they house medium security inmates, “The Security Building,” is so old & decrepit & has violated so many building codes that the state gets fined at the rate of $1000 per prisoner per month – because things aren’t fixed? That’s $100,000 per month!

Oh, and – do you know who sells MDOC its shoes, toothpaste, deodorant, cards, blankets, &c? The Bob Barker Company! That’s right! Bob Barker! Apparently his son, Bart, was killed in prison, so now Bob wants to make sure we all have cheap toothpaste. I don’t know, maybe that last part (about the son) is a myth. Know what’s bad in here right now, aside from 70% of us having Hep-C? Mercer!

My name’s Joseph Poulin, and I’m a safe-cracker, but otherwise, a sweet guy, solid citizen. Write me ladies! MCC, Windham.

– Joseph Poulin, MCC

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

Every week here at Windham, we get to send out two free letters. We put them in a special free-mail box, with FS or FM in the corner where a stamp should be. This week, I put three such letters into the box. Big mistake. I was informed that the act constituted theft & got locked down for three days!

I bet you folks reading this feel alot safer knowing I’m locked up! Do candidates for governor read this? We can vote here, you know. This, the correctional system in Maine, is the bottomless money pit!

Thank you.

– Randy Poulin, MCC

Hi,

My name is Ryan Wood. I am a 32-year-old male from Lewiston, ME. I will be living in Augusta, ME upon my release July 1st. I am looking to meet a positive group of people. A friend asked me to write this blog, so here it is. I had rage sketch me so you can see what I look like. The picture is dead-on.

Ryan

I was also asked to talk about anything positive happening here. One, is my IOP teacher Denise, secondly my school teacher Kay. Finally, my good buddy, “DJ” Mason. Oh, the building we medium security guys live in, the “Security” building, is so old that it violates building code! The state pays the feds a fine of $1000 per day, per inmate (100 inmates)! Ask your governor about that, huh?

– Ryan Wood
(AKA – Daddy of Five, AKA – Hurricane)

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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.

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