Legal Action Seeks to Prevent Downeast Correctional Facility From Shutting Down

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - An injuction has been filed against the Department of Corrections in reaction to the closing of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport.

Washington County Commission Chairman Chris Gardner met with D.O.C. officials Wednesday at the Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.

The injunction seeks to prevent further steps aimed at closing the facility until the legislative process plays out.

The Attorney General's Office has chosen not to represent the Department of Corrections.

Gardner says until D.O.C. finds council, the commissioner has agreed to a hands-off period in which the facility can remain as is.

"This county is not looking for anyone's charity. We're fighting for this, not as much because it has to do with our economy, but we think it's a great facility that can do a lot of things for the state of Maine. And if we didn't believe in its efficiency, and the people that work there, and the product that it provides the state, we'd be the first ones to agree. But the legislature has looked at this for years and each and every time they've agreed with us," said Gardner.

Since the facility's closure on Friday, the D.O.C. has been removing equipment and infrastructure.

The facility will remain untouched until lawmakers vote on how to move forward.