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Prison Rumor Mill Roars Back with Cutler Arrest Feb.

22, 2013 The chickens under the control of micro-managing prison workout specialist, Department of Corrections Commissioner, Joseph Ponte (affectionately known in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as "Joe the Boss"), may be coming home to roost. The Arrest of Capt. Cutler Capt. David Cutler, arrested on Feb. 20 for assaulting prisoner Renaldo Williams, now housed at Maine Correctional Center in Windham1, has opened the floodgates of the rumor mill. Is it possible that Capt. Cutler is merely a proverbial fly in the ointment that will blow the lid of secrecy off Maine State Prison and the Department of Corrections? The alleged doubledipping spokesperson for the Department, Jody Breton, would, we suspect, have no comment but
Capt. David Cutler, Knox County Jail

hopefully not simply from having no clue. In due respect, we wonder! I have had personal experience with David Cutler in my former and truncated role as chaplain that actually was quite satisfactory. A prisoner came to me literally shaking. He had just come from a meeting with Maine Department of Health and Human Services, whereupon they informed him that a person who had been convicted of sexually molesting his 4-year old daughter had been sentenced to the prison. I petitioned Capt. Cutler, who went to see the Dad and made efforts to keep them apart. Shortly thereafter, however, the Dad was put into segregation (formerly Solitary Confinement) for some minor offense along with 130 or so other incarcerated citizens. He was put in a cell next door to the child molester. Later, they were both moved to cells on the B-1 corridor directly across from each other. My task was to try to help the Dad reach deep down for forgiveness and charity for the sake of his own sanity. Needless to say, some staff member with a sadistic streak had his or her moment of triumph over the "bottom feeders" in our prison system, thereby keeping the public safer, as it were, from the reach of our institutionally-induced mentally ill.

Stephen Betts, Affidavit Details Allege Assault by Maine State Prison Officer against Inmate, Bangor Daily News, 2/21/13. http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/21/news/midcoast/affidavit-details-alleged-assault-by-maine-state-prisonofficer-against-inmate/

Capt. Cutler, for whom the Commissioner apparently has engineered a soft landing for the sake of his retirement benefits after long, effective service, has enjoyed a perhaps undeserved reputation of occasional violent outbursts. Word is that through a clever use of accumulated sick time ("Is the good Captain ill?"), retirement benefits will be secured. Deep Throat Strikes Again Deep Throat source DDT-2 indicates complaining to both Commissioner Ponte and Warden Barnhart at least five times about the actions of the good Captain. The complaints were reportedly ignored. DDT-2 was released. DDT-2 tells us that Capt. Cutler had assaulted at least eight prisoners over the past two years:
MC - Brutal handcuffing that looked like he had Saturn around both of his wrists... JG - Maced; cuffed and stuffed for opening a door with his foot... B - Put in a headlock and maced in the Medical Department for not wanting to go back to his Close E POD due to "keep separate" issues... MT - Complained that Capt. Cutler used an improper technique in a pat-search called "credit card swipe" that resulted in the good Capt. penetrating his anus with his thumb...Penetrating any orifice, DDT-4 alleges, constitutes rape... PS - Complained that Capt. Cutler used the credit card swipe on him, doing likewise as with MT... Old guy in Medium G POD, the honor POD for prisoners who have stayed out of trouble for many years, grabbed by Capt. Cutler in Recreation, pushed hard into the fence, raking his face across the fence...(word is that G POD is now known as "gay POD" due to events of recent history)... SL - Capt. Cutler raked his face across the fence outside the chow hall after he was cuffed... Renardo Williams - Excessive force after prisoner was handcuffed behind his back...Williams, a former Golden Glove boxer, is a very capable prisoner who never gives staff a hard time according to DDT-4...

Rumor has it that Capt. Cutler was arrested on Feb 20 in the parking lot outside the prison, leading to the question, "What was the good captain doing on the prison grounds while on paid administrative leave and under investigation?" The conditions of his bail indicate the seriousness with which our criminal justice system views his case: $1,000 unsecured2. Try that one on your average convicted pot smoker! DDT-5 tells us that after his arrest, Capt. Cutler came storming into the prison lobby and staged a temper tantrum. Certainly that must have been before the arrest! Even Capt. Cutler would know better than to do a thing like that! DDT-5 also avers that the good Commissioner has turned a blind eye while violent prisoners have been locked together in the chow hall sallyport twice a day and housed together to cut down on guard costs. Now, who could possibly believe such a story coming out of Camp MSP? Another Country Heard from Then there is the former good Deputy Warden in charge of Security, Jim O' Farrell, who has become every journalist's Deep Throat lately ("He who is a friend


of everyone is a friend of no one") but notoriously on the proverbial dung list of a certain prominent former State Senator. O' Farrell is on the war path after filing a whistleblower suit against the State of Maine for retaliation against him by Warden Barnhart and Commissioner Ponte3. I personally find Jim to be an affable and engaging Irish cop-type who has forgotten more about prison culture than most of us collectively will ever know. I respect him greatly for his knowledge and experience and have personally worked with him at the prison to good results. What his agenda really is, however, remains to be seen, as does yours' truly, a whistleblower who also has come under fire from the sacred blogosphere and rumor mill. Real Estate Tycoon Warden Barnhart Then there is the saga of real estate tycoon, former Warden Barnhart, who was fired and then reinstated as a policy director at the Department of Corrections. Are we led to believe that she who lost control of the prison now is in charge of directing the policy that she failed properly to implement? Or, as DDT-5 suggests, is it possible that RC, one of the infamous triumvirate ABC Club operating beneath the radar at the prison (B having since been released) had been undermining her attempts to restore order? Will we ever really know, Ms. Breton? The Path to Private Prisons? Finally, it may be well to take a long look at what is on the drawing boards for the Department of Corrections. Governor LePage has announced a revenue bond issue of $100M for renovation and expansion of Maine Correctional Center in Windham. The way a revenue bond works is that no legislative approval is required, although as a courtesy, the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety were entertained in a recent sanitized tour of the facility. The plan is to expand the prison capacity from 660 to 1,000. The revenue bond can be justified on the basis of projected revenue increases. Here is where it gets interesting. The facility gets built. County jail administrators, chafing under a $22 per day state subsidy for their $56 a day services, go quietly into the night. The State later finds an insufficient revenue stream, and, behold, a private prison corporation offers to lease the facility for significantly less per prisoner than it is costing the State, peanut butter sandwiches al a carte. While they are at it, Maine State Prison, an accredited facility known for its efficiency, might also be suggested as a private prison lease candidate. Who would object? Costs get cut, and, as a bonus, the heat

Stephen Betts, Ex Deputy-Warden at Maine State Prison Claims Jobs Cut in Retaliation for Safety Concerns, Bangor Daily News, 2/11/13. http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/11/news/state/ex-deputy-warden-at-maine-state-prison-claims-job-wascut-in-retaliation-for-safety-concerns/

comes off the Department. Ms. Breton, the non-commenting spokesperson, can get back to her treasured retirement. Disclaimer: But then, all this is pure speculation beneath the dignity and ethics of respectable journalists (of which this author, in frustration, regretfully, is not one), who lack a sufficient paper trail to turn the spotlight on this human rights can of worms.