The Article argues that Maine incarcerates too many people, for too long, for too many things, at too great of an expense. We offer evidence to support this claim, briefly review some of the criminal legal legislation that shaped our present reality, and show how recent efforts at reform have been, at best, only modestly successful. In concert with a growing number of expert voices across the country calling for strategies of decarceration, our goal is to demonstrate the need for second chance legislation in Maine in the form of the reinstatement of parole, an effective clemency process, a far-reaching reevaluation of custody levels, and a new revision of the Maine Criminal Code. We argue that Maine needs a restorative pathway to decarceration that would meaningfully reduce the number of people in prison and recidivism rates, while emplacing broader and more effective responses to harm than that afforded by incarceration alone.
Catherine Besteman & Leo Hylton,
The Case for Second Chances: A Pathway to Decarceration in Maine,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol76/iss1/4