Washington County Official Takes Legal Action To Prevent Shuttering Of Prison

Feb 14, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Washington County official says he filed an injunction to prevent Republican Gov. Paul LePage from taking further steps to shutter a minimum-security state prison.

Washington County Commission Chairman Chris Gardner says he filed the injunction Tuesday against the Department of Corrections in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Gardner says a hearing will be held Wednesday afternoon.

The governor’s administration on Friday removed inmates from Downeast Correctional Facility even though the prison is funded by lawmakers through the summer.

The prison, which has long been on the chopping block, costs about $5 million a year to operate and provides jobs and prison labor to the surrounding community.

Gardner says the injunction aims to prevent further steps aimed at shuttering the facility and evading legislative oversight. The governor’s office declined comment.