Friday, 19 May 2017 11:10

Downeast prison set to close in June Featured

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Downeast prison set to close in June

MACHIASPORT - Devastating news today for people in the Machiasport area.

The State announced is will soon close the Downeast Correctional Facility in a bid to save money.

All 46 employees were informed today they'll lose their jobs.

It's terrible news for the families in the area that rely on the employer for income and all the other businesses that would be impacted by the closure.

The State had been considering closing it for years, but after hearing emotional testimony from residents and others, the Legislature voted in March to keep it funded for another two years.

The move is attracting negative reactions from both democrat and republican lawmakers--and also from the Washington County Commissioners who were shocked by the announcement.

There are also concerns about what will happen with the inmates housed in Machiasport.

The plan calls for moving some of them to other facilities, but the sentences for others may be commuted.

Senate republicans released a statement asking whether the Governor has the authority to close the prison after funding had already been included in the budget.

The Commissioners, some Lawmakers and a union representing corrections workers plans to fight the closure which is scheduled to happen June 10.