MACHIASPORT – There is a new corrections facility on the way in Machiasport.
It’s been nearly three years since former Governor Paul LePage closed the Downeast Correctional Facility in the middle of the night, and the community wasn’t happy about it.
“We had a lot of people who lost good paying jobs, we had businesses who were able to utilize the services that were going to be struggling too. It was a blow that not only hit the inmates who were there, but also for the total community,” said Rep. Anne Perry, D – Calais.
Since then, state officials worked together to get funding for the project.
The new project will be a smaller version of the former Downeast Correctional Facility.
“While we would of liked it to reopen to the size that is was originally. It was 150 inmates and it had a staff of 30-35 people. We understood that this is a start. And by having at least 50 inmates and then 15 employees, it would be an opportunity for us to get back here in the facility,” said Sen. Marianne Moore, R – Calais.
Moore said there was state money set aside for the Machiasport pre-release center after renovations were completed at the Windham prison, which was used to build the facility.
According to state representative Will Tuell, this is a positive turnaround for Washington County.
“The prisoners that were here worked in the community. They were part of the community. They started families here. The local businesses relied on their work to help fill the gaps, to help build the workforce,” said Rep. Will Tuell, R – East Machias.
Washington County already started building the new facility, which will be completed by the summer of 2021.