Maine is the only state in the country with no public defender system. Instead, legal services for the poor are left to private attorneys, who face disproportionately high amounts of discipline, and an office that doesn’t supervise them.
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The Justice Department says much of the abuse in the state’s prisons stems from overcrowding. Advocates say overcrowding is caused by laws that result in harsh prison sentences that are out of sync with the rest of the country.
A veto-proof majority of the municipal legislative body said that they will dismantle the police department and reinvest their budget into community-led public safety programs. But many key details have yet to emerge.