Families, advocates demand accountability after string of deaths in Maine prisons and jails


Advocates at the rally argued that the rise in prison and jail deaths is related to decades of policy decisions in Maine that have resulted in a defunding of social safety net and health care programs and increased funding for carceral responses to societal issues. As a 2022 report from the Maine Center for Economic Policy and the ACLU of Maine spelled out, state and local spending on corrections increased by 13% from 2014 to 2019, with spending on law enforcement rising by 14% in those years. But over that same time period, resources for substance use treatment through the MaineCare system increased by just 2% when adjusting for inflation.

Click here to read the full story, first published September 12, 2022 in Beacon.