Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Laurels: Tapley racks up another award

Published in the Portland Phoenix

Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley, who has covered conditions in the Maine State Prison and throughout the state's corrections system since 2005, will be honored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine for "outstanding advocacy for prison reform."

The recognition, in the form of the 2012 Roger Baldwin Award (named for an ACLU founder and former director), will be presented on Thursday, October 25, at the University of Maine Wells Conference Center in Orono.

Tapley, who recently contributed to the New York University Press anthology The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration & Abuse, has won many previous honors for the ongoing series, including from the national Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the regional New England Press Association, and the Maine State Bar Association.

His reporting "became the catalyst for reforms that have helped make the prison safer for both prisoners and guards," said ACLU-Maine executive director Shenna Bellows, in a press release announcing the award.

"Maine has become a model for other states on solitary reform," said Bellows. "We would not be this far along without the reporting of Lance Tapley."

Please join us in Orono to celebrate Tapley's work, which totals nearly 100 stories to date. (See links to all of them at It's free and open to the public; the evening's events begin at 6:30 pm.