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Deane Brown

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Whistleblower returns; Maine a prison-reform model

Prodigal Sons  
On Valentine's Day, prisoner Deane Brown, who sounded an alarm that drew international attention to the savagery of solitary confinement and other abuses in the Maine State Prison's "supermax" unit, was returned to the Warren prison after an exile of more than six years.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 27, 2013

Brown, ailing, to return soon

Whistleblower Update  
Prisoner Deane Brown should be back in Maine within two to three weeks, the Maine Department of Corrections notified his attorney on January 4.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 09, 2013

Prison whistleblower to return to Maine

Homecomings
Maine corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has notified Deane Brown, the inmate whistleblower who in 2005 was the original source for the Phoenix 's lengthy series on prison abuse, that he will be allowed to return to Maine.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 26, 2012
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Whistle-blower asks to come home

Exiles’ Return
In 2011 reform-minded Commissioner Joseph Ponte of the Maine Department of Corrections set up a formal process — apparently, rare in the United States — for prisoners transferred to out-of-state prison systems to apply to come home.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 26, 2012

'No-touch torture' in New Jersey

Maine Whistleblower Watch
Deane Brown, a Maine inmate shipped out of state because of his criticism of the Maine State Prison, is now being held in New Jersey in "one of the most repressive" prison units in the country, often reserved for "political" or activist prisoners like black radicals, says Bonnie Kerness of the American Friends Service Committee's national Prison Watch.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 26, 2011

Seeking humane treatment

State and national efforts well under way
Some Maine people are taking moral responsibility for the way supermax inmates are treated.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 17, 2010
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Screams from solitary

‘By dehumanizing prisoners, we dehumanize ourselves.’
The 132-man supermax unit within the 925-man Maine State Prison is an expensive, taxpayer-funded torture chamber that for 18 years has sucked in mostly nonviolent, mostly mentally ill prisoners and ground them up by means of mind-destroying solitary confinement, officially sanctioned beatings, “restraint” devices resembling those in medieval dungeons, sexual humiliation, and psychiatric, medical, and legal neglect.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 17, 2010

Injustice everywhere

Letters to the Portland Editor, October 9, 2009
Thank you for the timely interview with Harvey Silverglate.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  October 07, 2009
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Prison ‘troublemaker’ confronts racism, medical abuse

Exiled
Vacillating between grit and despair — between aggressive lawsuits and suicide attempts — Deane Brown, the prisoner who in 2005 blew the whistle on the torture of mentally ill inmates at the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement “Supermax” unit, is struggling against prison conditions in Maryland, where he was exiled by the Baldacci administration.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 09, 2009
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Three years and counting

The Portland Phoenix' s prison scoops keep piling up
For the past three years, Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley has been the only reporter in Maine to pay attention to the appalling conditions suffered by inmates in the Maine State Prison
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 05, 2008
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A threat, but not to security

Deane Brown battles on
Maine prisoner Deane Brown, 44, is no longer in solitary confinement, though he remains far from Maine.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 03, 2008
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Judge orders injections for Maine prisoner

Maryland exile
A Maryland court has ordered Maine prisoner Deane Brown to be forcibly injected with insulin, if necessary.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 23, 2008

Are the prisons overcrowded?

Letters to the Portland editor: February 15, 2008
I am asking the whole Legislative Committee to physically go and inspect the prison to ascertain how much bed space is there.
By LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR  |  February 13, 2008
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Exiled Maine prisoners report abuse, danger

Prison watch
Maine corrections officials and Governor John Baldacci refuse to comment on them or the state’s responsibility for their care.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 26, 2007
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Group seeks to hold Maine to UN standard

Outlawing torture
Next week Portland-based prison activists will be knocking on Munjoy Hill doors.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  August 29, 2007
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The 10th Annual Muzzle Awards

Silencing free speech
Mitt Romney will say or do anything if he thinks it will help him become president.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2007
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Maine prison bosses violate court orders

Department of Corrections ignores federal rulings going back to the 1970s
In the activist climate of an earlier era, a Maine legal-aid group brought and won three prisoner-rights lawsuits against state corrections officials.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 27, 2007

Press behind bars


As a reporter, I can attest that the rules the state agreed to in the 1970s on news-media access to prisoners have been violated by the Corrections Department in its recent practices.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 27, 2007
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Inmate sues prison officials in federal court

First amendment watch
Did the Maine Department of Corrections violate the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee by keeping inmate and human-rights activist Deane Brown from contact with the news media?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 18, 2007

Letters to the Portland editor: May 4, 2007

Go, Lance, go!
God bless the First Amendment.
By LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR  |  May 02, 2007
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An insult to justice

Truth to power
Portland Phoenix freelancer Lance Tapley was given the Maine State Bar Association's Excellence in Legal Journalism Award last week at the association's annual meeting.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 31, 2007
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Deane Brown defense team enlarging

Prison reform
A lawyer for prison-abuse whistleblower Deane Brown has announced plans to train a research team to aid in a planned federal civil-rights suit to force the state to bring Brown back to Maine from a Maryland prison and collect monetary compensation for the harsh treatment he says he suffered in the Maine State Prison’s Supermax — officially, its Special Management Unit.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 10, 2007

Letters to the Portland editor: December 29, 2006

Prison is not the answer
Cheers to Lance Tapley for his quality reporting on the Maine State Prison and the apparent political persecution of Deane Brown (see “ Lockdown ,” December 15).
By DAN CHARD  |  December 27, 2006
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Lockdown

What do prison officials have to hide?
If you were a reporter and you received a letter like the one excerpted below, what would you make of it? Lance Tapley discusses reporting the prisons  
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 14, 2006

Stonewalling is normal

 Reporting the prison system
I could cite many examples of the difficulty in reporting to the Maine public what goes on behind the cement and bureaucratic walls of the public’s prison system — especially, in reporting brutal practices. I will give just a few.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 13, 2006
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Baldacci’s ‘political prisoner’

A life at risk
John Baldacci’s administration on November 13 sent the Maine State Prison’s chief human-rights advocate, inmate Deane Brown, to a dangerous prison more than 500 miles away, in Baltimore. Brown’s lawyer and his best friend believe this decision was in retaliation for his activism, and puts his life in danger.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 21, 2006

Hunger strike at Maine's Supermax Prison

Suicide attempts reported
Inmates at the Maine State Prison’s solitary-confinement Supermax unit in Warren have been on a hunger strike since Saturday night. Death in the Supermax. By Lance Tapley
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 18, 2006
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Pressure rising

Supermax torture revisited
Four months ago, a Phoenix investigative series revealed abuses of inmates at the “Supermax,” a 100-bed, solitary-confinement, maximum-security facility inside the Maine State Prison in Warren; since our articles were published, several important developments have taken place.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 23, 2006

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