There is a dearth of public information about who is supposed to be overseeing Maine’s prisons and jails, so the BDN’s Maine Focus team put together available information it obtained over the course of reporting on a story about Gov. Paul LePage letting go members of one of the state’s only active oversight groups.
You might find it useful if you want to learn how your tax dollars are being spent on your local prison or jail, if you have an interest in joining an oversight group or attending one of their meetings, or if you have concerns you want to share.
Maine has five volunteer oversight groups, called boards of visitors, whose members are appointed by the governor and empowered by law to monitor and inspect state correctional facilities and recommend changes. There are supposed to be oversight boards for each of the following prison facilities, though the Maine Department of Corrections said the Long Creek and Mountain View boards are currently inactive:
— Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport
— Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland
— Maine State Prison and Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren
— Maine Correctional Center in Windham
— Mountain View Youth Development Center and Charleston Correctional Facility in Charleston
Then, of Maine’s 15 county jails, only four have visitors boards:
— Cumberland County Jail
— Penobscot County Jail
— Two Bridges Regional Jail, which serves Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties
— York County Jail
Board of visitor annual reports
Over the last decade — with some notable exceptions — the five boards of visitors for Maine’s prisons have frequently failed to submit annual reports to the Legislature that could provide lawmakers and the public glimpses of what’s going on behind prison bars.
Of the 50 annual reports that should have been sent to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee over the last decade, only 13 were turned up through requests to the committee, the boards, the Department of Corrections, the Law and Legislative Reference Library, the State Library and the State Archives.
Lists of board members, past and present
The Maine Department of Corrections declined to provide the names of all members of these public boards and their contact information. But the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, which tracks the state’s various boards and commissions, has the information.
Click here to see who is currently leading the boards of visitors for the prisons. (For the jails they are led by the sheriff.)
Records of board meetings and vacancies from 2006 to 2016
On average over the last decade, more than 10 of the boards’ collective 25 seats have been vacant or expired each year, according to records kept by the secretary of state.
Contact information for wardens and sheriffs
Board of visitors meetings are, by law, open to the public. If you’d like to attend a meeting, contact the warden or sheriff overseeing the facility whose board you are interested in to find out if the facility has a board and, if so, when and where the next meeting will be held.
— Downeast Correctional Facility, Machiasport, David Daniels (director), 255-1100
— Charleston Correctional Facility, Charleston, Chadwick Curtis (acting director), 285-0800
— Long Creek Youth Development Center, South Portland, Colin O’Neil (acting administrator/ associate commissioner of corrections), 822-2600/ 287-4362
— Maine Correctional Center, Windham, Scott Landry (warden), 893-7000
— Maine State Prison and Bolduc Correctional Facility, Warren, Randall Liberty (warden), 273-5300
— Mountain View Youth Development Center, Charleston, Jeff A. Morin (superintendent), 285-0880
County jail contacts:
— Androscoggin County Jail, Sheriff Eric G. Samson, 753-2500
— Cumberland County Jail, Sheriff Kevin J. Joyce, 893-2810
— Franklin County Jail, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr., 778-3032
— Hancock County Jail, Sheriff Scott Kane, 667-7576
— Kennebec County Jail, Sheriff Ken Mason, 623-3614
— Knox County Jail, Sheriff Donna L. Dennison, 594-0429
— Penobscot County Jail, Sheriff Troy Morton, 947-4585
— Piscataquis County Jail, Sheriff John G. Goggin, 564-3304
— Two Bridges Jail (Lincoln/Sagadahoc Counties), Administrative Lieutenant Lt. William Frith, 882-2609
— Somerset County Jail, Sheriff Dale P. Lancaster, 474-9591
— York County Jail, Sheriff William L. King, Jr., 324-1113
Maine Focus is a journalism and community engagement initiative at the Bangor Daily News. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.