Downeast Workers Fight Back

At 4am on Friday, February 9th, Governor LePage sent in heavily armed troopers to shut down Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF).  The Department of Corrections moved all inmates to other facilities and laid off the staff on the spot with no notice.

This is all despite the fact that he has no legal authority to do so, and in spite of the fact that the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee had just taken a unanimous vote in favor of a bill to fund DCF for the coming year.

DCF is a unique place, and many people have realized this in the weeks since the closure.  It's a minimum security facility that allows inmates to volunteer, then do community service, and then qualify for work-release.  Many inmates are able to work at area businesses, earning money, skills, and confidance to re-start their lives when they finish their sentences.  

Ever since the illegal closure, the workers from DCF (who are represented by AFSCME 2968 and MSEA-SEIU 1989) have been organized and are fighting back.  They have come to Augusta many times, lobbied Legislators, called Legislators, written them, spoken to the media, and done everything they can to re-open DCF.

This is a key part of the Washington County economy. These workers are in really tough positions right now deciding what to do for their future.  Good paying jobs are hard to come by in this part of the state, and local businesses depend on DCF in many ways.

A handful of politicians in Augusta are playing games with peoples' lives.  We call on the Legislature to fund DCF for the coming year and keep this model correctional facility open.  

Please help these brave workers by calling your State Representative and leaving her or him a message asking them to vote yes to fund Downeast Correctional Facility. You can leave your Representative a message at 1-800-423-2900. Thank you!