Prospects of building a privately run prison in the economically depressed town of Milo appear to be gaining momentum with a new administration in the Maine state House and legislation being prepared to pave the way for such a project….When discussions with Corrections Corp. of America began about three years ago, the company talked about the possibility of building a $100 million-$150 million facility, housing 1,800 to 2,300 inmates and employing 200-300 people. With the new administration, CCA dusted off its plan and is open to new discussions, said Gahagan.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage announced Monday that a Maine transportation official with a reputation for getting the most mileage out of scarce dollars is his choice to head that department, and a career administrator who has run public and private prisons in several other states will be his nominee to head Maine’s corrections system.
David Bernhardt, of Vassalboro, an engineer with 26 years experience in the department that oversees and maintains Maine’s highway, bridge, ferry and other public transportation systems, will be his nominee for commissioner….
…LePage’s nominee for Corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte, has held administrative positions in corrections systems in Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Ponte’s resume shows he’s also worked for private firms that run prisons, including Corrections Corporation of America, his employer since 2006.
Ponte said he’s helped to turn around troubled prisons, including a maximum-security state prison in Walpole, Mass., which he said had been one of the most violent on the East Coast, and a county jail in Memphis, Tenn., that experienced staff problems. He is currently running a detention center in Nevada for CCA.
LePage said Ponte’s association with CCA should “absolutely” not be taken as a gesture favoring privatization of Maine’s prison system. However, LePage said he would be open to allowing a private-sector prison come to Maine, build a prison, pay taxes and house other state’s prisoners. “I may consider that,” he said.
Source: BY MATT WICKENHEISER, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel (ME) 02/12/2009
AUGUSTA — Proposals to move some prison inmates out of state and close prison units would have a negative impact on local communities, corrections department employees told lawmakers Wednesday.
…….. The governor’s budget includes a proposal for the Maine Department of Corrections to send 118 inmates to a private prison run by the Corrections Corp. of America in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Source: By Meg Haskell, Bangor Daily News (ME), October 1, 2008
Citing concerns over student access to health care as well as budgetary issues, the University of Maine this week announced it will turn over operation of the campus clinic, Cutler Health Center, to a private health care provider. The plan calls for expanded hours at the health center, more payment options for students, and a higher-profile role for health professionals on campus.
Source: By SUSAN M. COVER, Blethen Maine News Service (ME), January 12, 2008
AUGUSTA — Most of the state jobs that the governor’s supplemental budget would eliminate come from a facility in Bangor that would be taken over by a private company, state officials said Friday.
The Elizabeth Levinson Center, which opened in 1971, serves children who are severely mentally disabled by providing them with residential and medical services.
After a company takes over the operation, 43 state jobs would be eliminated, said Brenda Harvey, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Source: The Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2008, 11:28AM
Maine’s Health and Human Services Department has selected a Pennsylvania-based company to manage the MaineCare computer system. Negotiations with Unisys Corp. are expected to be completed this month.
…… The MaineCare billing system was plagued with problems including providers getting incorrect payments or no payments after the state switched to a new system to handle claims in January 2005. Privatizing the service will help bring the state system into compliance with federal standards, according to DHHS officials.