RadioActive 10/08/09

Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco & Amy Browne
Segment 1: Legislation to address abuses of solitary confinement in Maine’s prisons submitted by Rep. Jim Schatz (Blue Hill)
Segment 2: Mainers speaking out against the war in Afghanistan–an upcoming rally in Boston, 10/17/09

After talking with constituents concerned about the abuses of solitary confinement in Maine’s prison system, Jim Schatz, the State Representative for Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry, working with the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition has submitted legislation to address the issue. Representative Schatz is a member of the Legislature’s Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, has a Masters degree in correctional administration, and has taught courses at the University of Colorado in treatment of offenders.
His proposed legislation reads, in part: “[W]hile imprisonment is an accepted punishment for criminal law violations, all persons in state custody are entitled to humane treatment. Solitary confinement is an extreme administrative sanction with the potential to cause severe harm to life and health, particularly for people with mental and physical illnesses and disabilities. Therefore, prolonged solitary confinement shall only be imposed under the most extreme circumstances, when no lesser restraints on liberty are sufficient to achieve its specified limited purposes. Furthermore, its imposition shall be grounded on careful findings of fact, determined in fair proceedings, frequently reviewed and monitored.” , and outlines specific conditions and limitations for it’s use.
Next Thursday, October 15th, leaders in the state legislature will decide if they will allow the bill to be heard in the next session.
FMI
www.daapspace.daap.uc.edu/~murphyd4/prisonjustice/index.html (Includes a link to the proposed legislation)
www.afsc.org/stopmax/ht/d/ContentDetails/i/33477
www.mainepac.org

Lisa Savage of CODEPINK’s Maine Chapter with information about an upcoming rally to end the war in Afghanistan. FMI: www.codepink4peace.org/groups.php?area=20

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