Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good News from Maine

Maine's legislature has put off for at least another year a proposed bill that would permit for the privatization of Maine's prisons. Maine is one of a few states that explicitly prohibits sending its prisoners to private facilities, and the decision to not act on this piece of legislation in this session is a victory for all Mainers, prisoners and non-prisoners alike. Prisoners will undoubtedly benefit from not being thrust into private facilities that cut every possible corner to maximize profit. Free Mainers will benefit from not having a private corporation perform an inherently governmental function, less efficiently than the government, for at least the same cost.

This comes after lengthy negotiations that took place between CCA and the town of Milo, Maine, which unveiled what amounted to a quid-pro-quo deal that went bad. CCA had been courting Milo for years, while trying to get a bill passed that would allow them to build a private prison for Maine prisoners. When that bill failed to pass, CCA decided to pass on building a prison in Milo. Shocker.

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