The Coastal Packet: Maine State Prison bans inmate from revealing abuses

Sunday, February 7

Maine State Prison bans inmate from revealing abuses

Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald - Jeffrey Libby’s writing on prison reform, advocating to reinstate parole or championing inmate literacy programs, has been published on newspaper opinion pages for nearly a decade.

Even as a convicted murderer serving a 60-year sentence for drowning of his grandfather, Libby has been able to cast his voice in print far beyond the walls of the Maine State Prison in Warren, reaching legislators, lawyers and educators who have cited his thoughts in their own writing.

But for now, Libby’s days of submitting newspaper opinion pieces are over. The Department of Corrections has effectively silenced his voice.

After Libby’s most recent op-ed piece was published in the Portland Press Herald on Oct. 5, he was called before Deputy Warden Michael Tausek in the Warren prison and told to “cease and desist.”

The department’s focus on Libby’s writing comes as it considers adopting a new set of proposed inmate discipline rules that constitutional lawyers say would make Maine’s policy on prisoner communications one of the most restrictive in the nation

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