Justin Andrus

Temporary director races to reform public defense system

With 120 days to make a difference, Justin Andrus has proposed top-to-bottom changes to get Maine’s struggling public defense agency back on track.

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Projects

Defenseless

An investigation by The Maine Monitor and ProPublica found that more than a quarter of Maine attorneys disciplined in the past decade for serious professional misconduct were hired as lawyers for the poor. Sex crimes and felony convictions were among the most severe infractions overlooked in the only state without public defenders. Defendants paid the price.

The Last Responders

Along with provoking a pandemic, COVID-19 has triggered a grief epidemic. It has robbed families of final goodbyes, left loved ones to die with strangers, postponed wakes and funerals. And it has overwhelmed Maine’s “Last Responders,” priests, chaplains, funeral directors and hospice workers who must work around restrictions aimed at diminishing virus infections.

Other Projects

Follow the Money

Follow the Money

Mainers are facing a historic congressional election season in 2020. Examine how campaign fundraising and spending are shaping the races for Maine’s federal and state offices using The Maine Monitor’s interactive campaign finance trackers. 

2020: A Class Dismissed

2020: A Class Dismissed

The Maine Monitor spoke to seniors from high schools across the state to tell the story of Maine’s Class of 2020 and how these soon-to-be graduates are dealing with the unexpected developments that come with a pandemic and a disrupted senior year.

Due Process: Inside Maine’s County Courthouses

Due Process: Inside Maine’s County Courthouses

The Maine Monitor examines Maine’s criminal justice system at a time when there’s appetite for major change. Our series looks at the system – successes and failures – to test whether defendants and victims can rely on it to give them due process.

Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity

Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity

Given that Maine is racing into an economic crisis because it doesn’t have enough workers for its jobs, we decided to examine the role immigrants could have in helping to solve Maine’s serious workforce needs.

Video

Chasing Maine: The Lifesaver

As a nurse, Nicole Gibbons often deals with life-saving situations. But in the last year she’s had to deal with two life-or-death situations outside of work.

Chasing Maine: Launch success for the Rocketeers

Chasing Maine: Launch success for the Rocketeers

The bluShift Aerospace team made history with its successful rocket launch using a unique bioderived fuel – lifting off from the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone on Jan. 31. Chasing Maine follows the daylong livestream with nearly 4,000 viewers, including...

Chasing Maine: The Rocketeers

Chasing Maine: The Rocketeers

 Stardust 1.0, the rocket built by bluShift Aerospace in Brunswick, battles winter weather as it looks to make a first-ever rocket launch at Limestone's Loring Air Force Base. In addition to using eco-friendly rocket fuel, the rocket will carry an instrumentation...

Chasing Maine: The Road Warriors

Chasing Maine: The Road Warriors

 Snowstorms are a way of life in Maine, and especially challenging for a city like Portland to snowplow. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how a fleet of plows, massive snow blowers and dump trucks clear the streets and then move 11,000 cubic yards of snow out of...

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