Maine received national attention Sunday morning when a prominent midcoast store was featured on "CBS This Morning" program. However, it may not be one you would expect.

The Maine State Prison Showroom in Thomaston was promptly featured on the national news program. Located right on Route 1, the prison showroom is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

The showroom features a variety of products made by the inmates from the Maine State Prison in Warren. They include furniture, artwork, models, toys, kitchen items, and much more.

According to CBS News, the inmates began making items in the early 1800s to help offset the costs of running the prison.

However, it wasn't just the showroom being featured. Some of the prison system's programs are drawing national attention.

CBS News highlighted the prison's education programs which have helped reduce recidivism exponentially. (Recidivism is the act of relapsing into a life of crime). Also featured was the Maine Department of Corrections collegiate degree program that inmates can earn while still incarcerated.

The news show noted the college program was originally funded by Doris Buffet, the late wife of billionaire Warren Buffet.

According to Maine Department of Corrections, the recidivism rate drops to close to 5% for inmates who have participated in the educational programs. That compares to a nationwide rate over 60%.

It's always cool to see Maine in the national spotlight for positive reasons. The state should be proud of the work that these programs are doing.

I will also give praise to the inmates. It's very motivating to see so many inmates working on skills and/or hitting the books to better their lives moving forward. And as CBS points out, it's not just young inmates with short stints. Even prisoners with long sentences have been crafting and learning for years.

Here's to wishing all the best to those looking to improve their lives to the fullest. It truly is inspiring.

The full CBS piece can be viewed below.

The General Stores Of Downeast Maine

These are the long-time general stores that are spread throughout downeast Maine. The stores that your grandparents picked up milk, beer, and that night's dinner at. For years they had been filled with things like fly paper, clothes, beef jerky, and that morning's newspaper. Now, you stop by for that slice of breakfast pizza, a tasty fried chicken sandwich for lunch, gas,and a handful of lottery tickets.

They're an important part of Maine's heritage, and their numbers are starting to dwindle. But we still frequent them to pick up the day's necessities and to keep up on town gossip.

They may not be owned by the original owners, and they may not look the same as they did years and years ago. But that same hometown feeling is there, the minute you set foot on their wooden floors. More than likely the same wooden floors that your grandparents set foot on.

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