Downeast Correctional Facility

Maine.gov

The State Senate, with a vote of 31 to 3, has signaled its desire to keep the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Washington County open for another year. But the margin of support in the House was less than what is needed to override an expected veto of the bill by Governor LePage, who abruptly closed the facility last week.

Maine.gov

The State Senate, with a vote of 31 to 3, has signaled its desire to keep the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Washington County open for another year. But the margin of support in the House was less than what is needed to override an expected veto of the bill by Governor LePage, who abruptly closed the facility last week.

House GOP Stands With LePage To Thwart Bid To Reopen Down East Prison

Feb 15, 2018
Bill Trotter / Bangor Daily News

A largely united House Republican caucus Thursday stymied a legislative effort to reopen the Downeast Correctional Facility, which Gov. Paul LePage abruptly closed last week.

The entire Democratic caucus supported the emergency bill, but all but seven Republicans voted no, dooming its chances of garnering the two-thirds support it needs to take effect immediately or survive a likely LePage veto.

Maine Public

The LePage administration has agreed – for now – to stop removing equipment from the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Washington County official says he filed an injunction to prevent Republican Gov. Paul LePage from taking further steps to shutter a minimum-security state prison.

Washington County Commission Chairman Chris Gardner says he filed the injunction Tuesday against the Department of Corrections in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Gardner says a hearing will be held Wednesday afternoon.

The governor’s administration on Friday removed inmates from Downeast Correctional Facility even though the prison is funded by lawmakers through the summer.

Maine.gov


Washington County residents and former employees at the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Machiasport say the early morning closure of the minimum-security prison is a betrayal by the governor that they can't accept.

Maine.gov

A union official says teams from the Maine Department of Corrections moved inmates from the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport to another prison early Friday morning.

Maine Department of Corrections

The fate of the embattled Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport was front and center at a public hearing in Augusta on Monday.

For more than a year, prison guards, local employers and town administrators have joined forces in an uphill battle to keep the doors open at the minimum-security prison. Gov. Paul LePage has vowed to close it, arguing that it’s not worth the $5 million a year to keep it operating.

Aerial image of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Bucks Harbor
virtualglobetrotting.com

More than 40 employees of the Downeast Correctional Facility who were issued pink slips in May have won a reprieve. The Maine Legislature has included money in the budget to keep the minimum security prison open for another year.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Washington County minimum-security prison is slated to remain open through next June.
 
The prison got a reprieve in the $7.1 billion, two-year budget that lawmakers passed this week.
 
Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration previously sent pink slips to corrections officers. The Machiasport prison has been on the state's chopping block for years.
 
The surrounding community has grown to rely on the jobs provided by the facility and the labor provided by its inmates.
 

Gov. Paul LePage says he's committed to closing the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport. The governor told Bangor radio station WVOM on Tuesday that it costs more to house prisoners at the aging facility than it does at the maximum security prison in Warren.

"It's not fit to live in. I wouldn't eat out of that kitchen up there," the governor said. "Not that there's anything wrong, it's just a very bad place."

AUGUSTA, Maine - A leading Republican says Maine's governor is walking back from a proposal to close a minimum-security prison in June.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage proposed shutting down Downeast Correctional Facility to save $5 million annually as part of his two-year, $6.8 billion budget. A legislative panel expressed support for funding the prison months ago, but last week, the LePage administration issued layoff notices to the prison's roughly 50 staff members.

Some new hope surfaced Wednesday for the embattled Downeast Correctional Facility. The Maine Senate voted 30-3 to preserve funding for the Bucks Harbor prison for the next two years. Union officials representing the guards at the facility say 55 layoff notices had been sent out by the governor, who wants to save about $5 million annually by closing the facility.

FILE: Maine Gov. Paul LePage pauses during a meeting to discuss the state's efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Last week the Maine Department of Corrections sent pink slips to all of the workers at the Downeast Correctional facility in Machiasport, because under the budget plan proposed by Gov. Paul LePage, the facility would be closed. That budget has not been approved by the Legislature, however, and so the dispute has found its way to the Appropriations Committee.

Maine Department of Corrections

For more than 30 years, the population in the Down East town of Machiasport has remained virtually unchanged, at about 1,100 residents. But that number could drop by more than 10 percent if state lawmakers agree to Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to close the Downeast Correctional Facility.