An inmate's hands protrude between the bars of a cell inside the old Maine State Prison in Thomaston in a 2001 file photo. Credit: Anthony Robert La Penna / BDN

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Thank you to Eric Floyd for his accurate and timely account of some aspects of Maine’s criminal justice system, from start to finish (arrest to incarceration). Floyd’s observations about the bias against the poor when involved in Maine’s legal system have been well documented by excellent investigative pieces done by BDN staff. It is not news to those of us who have followed Callie Ferguson’s many years of exposing the injustice, dysfunction and toxic culture prevalent in Maine’s jails and prisons.

The recent story from Samantha Hogan of the Maine Monitor about the leader of Maine’s Commission on Indigent Legal Services (MCLIS) leaving his role as executive director supports how difficult it has been to fix Maine’s broken and underfunded equivalent of a public defender office. The Maine Legislature must continue to address the injustices and inequities that would have been self-corrected if Maine’s criminal justice system followed any type of serious self-examination, followed by correction.  

I would prefer my tax dollars support a system that follows “best practices” followed by better outcomes. Thank you to Eric Floyd for using his voice, as a presently incarcerated man, to help us understand his experience of incarceration in Maine.

Monique Gautreau