Dept. of Corrections: No Public Threat To Result From Closure of Downeast Correctional Facility 

Employees at Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport are being handed layoff notices today.

The notices state the facility will close June 10th.

A union rep tells TV5 they are working with attorneys to get an immediate injunction to stop the closure.

46 people work at the facility, with about a hundred inmates there.

According to a press release from the Maine Senate, it is believed that sentences of 75 prisoners are to be commuted.

The Governor’s proposed budget called for the facility to be closed in June, but a legislative committee voted in March to keep it open.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Linda Pistner in an April letter to Maker said the governor can’t unilaterally amend the law that establishes Downeast Correctional Facility.

The Department of Corrections sent out this statement:

“Funding to operate Downeast Correctional Facility will no longer be available as of June 10; therefore, the facility will be closing at that time. If the security staff is interested in relocating, the department is willing to work with them to stay employed with the department,” said Commissioner Dr. Fitzpatrick. “We are now working with the Maine Department of Labor to accommodate a Rapid Response team at the Machiasport facility as we speak.”

The Department of Corrections says that “the closure is not a threat to public safety.”

They say the facility is outdated and expensive to operate.

According to Commissioner Fitzpatrick, the department will move its inmates to other correctional facilities by the date DCF closes.