Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald - Jeffrey Libby’s writing on prison reform, advocating to reinstate parole or championing inmate literacy programs, has been published on newspaper opinion pages for nearly a decade.
Even as a convicted murderer
serving a 60-year sentence for drowning of his grandfather, Libby has
been able to cast his voice in print far beyond the walls of the Maine
State Prison in Warren, reaching legislators, lawyers and educators who
have cited his thoughts in their own writing.
But for now,
Libby’s days of submitting newspaper opinion pieces are over. The
Department of Corrections has effectively silenced his voice.
Libby’s most recent op-ed piece was published in the Portland Press
Herald on Oct. 5, he was called before Deputy Warden Michael Tausek in
the Warren prison and told to “cease and desist.”
department’s focus on Libby’s writing comes as it considers adopting a
new set of proposed inmate discipline rules that constitutional lawyers
say would make Maine’s policy on prisoner communications one of the most
restrictive in the nation