AUGUSTA, Maine — A minimum-security prison that Gov. Paul LePage shuttered without legislative approval is getting five new guards and an unknown number of inmates.
LePage said he would “minimally” staff the prison by the end of this week after Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy found he improperly emptied out Downeast Correctional Facility.
David Webbert, a lawyer for 55 laid-off prison workers, went to court Wednesday to argue the governor’s plan doesn’t comply with the court order. Webbert says LePage must undo the illegal closure of the prison.
Lawmakers haven’t mustered up enough support to provide about $5 million in another year of funding for the facility, whose funding runs out in June. The prison provides jobs and free prison labor to the surrounding rural community but the governor claims it’s too costly.