60 Downeast Correctional Facility Inmates Sent to Charleston On Order from Governor

CHARLESTON, Maine (WABI) - In the cloak of darkness, inmates at the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport began boarding buses to head to another jail.

Governor LePage decided to empty the minimum security prison and closed it, while lawmakers debate $5 million plan to keep it open.

The buses showed up about 12:30 Friday morning to load up the inmates.

About 60 of them were housed in Machiasport.

We were there when they started arriving at their new home in Charleston, the Mountain View Correctional Facility.

Workers at the Downeast Facility were then given letters stating they were on paid administrative leave.

LePage spokesman Peter Steele says the 149 beds in Machiasport will no longer be needed as of the end of March.

He says the future of the facility is a management question, not a legislative matter.