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Shoot to kill option for Windham prison discussed

AUGUSTA (AP) -- Maine prisons officials want to give guards at the department's Windham facility the option of shooting to kill prisoners trying to escape.

Unlike guards at the Maine State Prison in Warren, guards at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham are not allowed to shoot to kill if a prisoner makes a break.

Corrections Department officials told a legislative hearing this week that a growing number of dangerous prisoners are being housed in Windham and they pose a higher escape risk.

Reportedly, Democratic state Rep. Mark Dion of Portland expressed concern at the possibility of shooting at inmates convicted of low-level crimes.

But Republican State Sen. Gary Plummer of Windham says his community deserves the safeguard.

There have been 30 escapes from Maine adult facilities since 2004.