Sen. Joyce Maker Disappointed with Governor’s Decision to Commute Prisoners

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUSTA – The Senate Republican Office has received information throughout the day regarding the commutation of prisoners at Downeast, Bolduc and Windham (so far) to free up enough beds to close the Downeast Correctional Facility.

“There are so many questions yet to be answered about the prisoners being released early by Governor LePage,” said Sen. Maker. “The Legislature has been left completely in the dark as far as what’s going on, leaving us to rely on information that has slowly come in from outside sources. This is no way to conduct business, especially when the stakes are so high for so many.

“At this point, all that remains are questions. How many prisoners are being considered for commutation, and what are the parameters to qualify? Are there enough probation officers to safely do this? Will the names of the commuted prisoners be made public? Who will ensure that restitution is paid to the victims? Have the attorneys and victims involved in each case been notified? Without the 150 beds at Downeast, what is the plan to house future inmates? Are these commutations a one time quick fix, or will we be releasing prisoners prematurely on an ongoing basis due to the lower capacity? These are only a few of the questions that remain.

“I am disappointed to say that these prisoners are being released because the Governor made this major decision unilaterally. It isn’t fair to the victims, it isn’t fair to the hard-working employees of the Downeast Correctional Facility and it plain isn’t the right thing to do. I am deeply concerned with the message this conveys.”

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