On June 24-25, the Maine Hospice Council, Maine Department of Corrections and Maine State Prison will host its 3rd annual Hospice Conference at Maine State Prison.

Health Care Professionals, family members, hospice volunteers, MSP administrative staff, MDOC staff, ACLU staff, legislators and others will be discussing the value and challenges of implementing and sustaining hospice in a corrections facility.

Teaching care and compassion in a corrections environment can be a powerful force for change and an important aspect of rehabilitation. However, it is often misunderstood and constantly challenged by individuals who view corrections as an environment solely for punishment.

Dr. Anne Hallward, psychiatrist and host of Safe Space Radio, will discuss how telling courageous stories and encouraging others to do the same can be a liberating experience for storyteller and listener. Telling stories can help lift the stigma of shame and go a long way toward rehabilitation.

Alison Beyea, will speak in her new position as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Beyea will be discussing health care in corrections facilities from a Constitutional perspective.

Susan Sharon, deputy news director at MPBN; Trent Bell, photographer; and Judith Meyer, Lewiston Sun Journal will join corrections officers and prisoners to discuss the benefits and challenges of media coverage for hospice programs in a prison environment.

Bell’s exhibit, "Reflect: A Letter to My Younger Self," capturing images of and letters by 12 prisoners as well as portraits of MSP staff will also be featured at this years’ conference

The insightful, thought-provoking information and work shared by all speakers, including a family member whose brother received the benefits of hospice care at MSP, will be interspersed by the therapeutic music of “Sounds of Comfort." CDs by the band will be on sale at the conference.

Agenda and registration information may be accessed by going to mainehospicecouncil.org, or by calling 626-0651.