Legislature rejects private prison plan
AUGUSTA — The Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously against LD 1095, a bill designed to facilitate the creation and use of private prisons in Maine. The bill had been carried over from the Legislature’s 2011 session.
“The Criminal Justice Committee did the right thing. At a time when Maine has more than enough prison space, building private prisons is bad for business and bad for Maine. We do not need to spend precious tax dollars so an out-of-state company can profit by locking up more Mainers,” said Shenna Bellows, director of Maine's ACLU.
“Private prisons make more money when more people go to jail for longer, no matter what the cost to the rest of us.
“The Maine Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) has recently documented a pattern of problems of oversight and accountability for prison contractors. Those problems would only be magnified if we were to put more of our corrections system into the hands of private companies," Bellows said.