This Sunday, Monitor reporters take stock of their most important stories from the first half of 2022.
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A study group will examine the policies and practices of Maine jails and prisons regarding the monitoring of inmate phone calls. This follows an investigation by Maine Monitor reporter Samantha Hogan, which revealed nearly 1,000 attorney-client calls were secretly recorded between June 2019 and May 2020 by county jails. Some recordings have been distributed to prosecutors and law enforcement. The group will report to the Legislature later this year on how states ensure prisoners have access to confidential communication with an attorney.
Lawmakers also approved a last-minute decision, bipartisan budget agreement this spring to hire the state’s first public defenders. Maine is the only state that does not employ a public defender. A joint investigation by The Maine Monitor and ProPublica found that the state contracts regularly with lawyers with a history of professional and criminal misconductand assigned lawyers to the cases they were not eligible to work because of the seriousness of the charges. The dispatchable unit of five public defenders is expected to be hired in the coming months.
In March, the ACLU of Maine sued state officialsalleging they failed to create an effective public defense system in violation of the constitutional rights of some defendants, citing some of the Maine Monitor and ProPublica reporting.
A reader’s response to the story of the inmate phone calls: “You succeeded! Keep up the good work.
Kate’s story about a proposal from the family behind Wreaths Across America for build the tallest flagpole in the world as the centerpiece of a billion-dollar, year-round park in Washington County, readers from across the state weighed in.
The proposed park would have a transformative impact on the region.
Several news outlets devoted valuable page space to the article and ran it in full, and readers sent in a number of comments thanking The Monitor for its commitment to such vital work.
Response from a reader: “I just read your article in the Monitor and it was incredibly informative for me. . . Anyway, thank you for the work you have done on this subject. I learned a lot from you.
Barbara A. Walsh
The voices of young and aging Maine transgender people are often not heard. National studies estimate that there are nearly 6,000 adults 18 and older and 1,200 children ages 13 to 17 who identify as transgender in the state.
Due to the stigma and discrimination they face, transgender people have higher rates of suicide and depression.
As a record number of states passed anti-transgender laws across the country, The Maine Monitor sought to tell the stories of the state’s transgender people and their struggle to be accepted and understood. We titled the series “The journey to be me.”‘
Response from a reader: “As a trans person who feels quite isolated in rural Maine, reading this collection of stories from other trans people in Maine has really helped alleviate some of the loneliness.”
This year, Rose continued her coverage of nursing and health care, examining the shortages and stresses facing Maine patients, workers and institutions.
Rose wrote about the difficulties in filling vacancies for public health nurses, a review of the impact of housing shortage on health carea look at a distressed retirement homeand the shortage of recovery beds for uninsured Mainers being treated for drug addiction.
This spring, Governor Janet Mills has committed $21 million in 2022 to support health care career training, $3.5 million to keep two veterans homes open, and $1.5 million to promote health care careers. healthcare careers.
Rose’s story at the end of last year about a rural community who lost his only retirement home was recognized for excellence in writing feature films by Report for America, the national service organization that helps fund reporting positions for Rose, Kate and Samantha.
A reader’s response to the story of detox beds: “Great story and it captures just the right tone and clearly addresses concerns and needs. Thanks! We are so grateful.”