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State, County Agree On Pre-Release Center On Grounds Of Downeast Correctional Facility


The Mills Administration says it plans to build a new pre-release center on the grounds of a former minimum-security prison in Washington County under an agreement struck with county lawmakers. Administration officials say the pre-release center in Machiasport will be smaller than the shuttered prison and employ fewer workers.

Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty the state will invest between $6.2 and $8 Million dollars on a new building.

“Reutilizing some of the former buildings, and we'll be housing 50 inmates and 15 staff and we hope to complete that within 18 to 24 months,” Liberty says.

An earlier proposal called for buying or leasing an existing property elsewhere in Washington County which could be retrofitted. Friday’s announcement should end the push back from area legislators that began last spring after then-governor Paul LePage closed the minimum-security Downeast Correctional Facility. Supporters said the prison provided jobs and inmates were a source of local labor.

Updated 4:58 p.m. May 3, 2019

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.