January 11, 2013

Maine State Prison warden fired

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Patricia Barnhart, 45, drew criticism in 2011 when she bought five acres and three houses from the state for far below their assessed value.


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"I've enjoyed working with Warden Barnhart but wasn't in a position to assess all the elements of her performance," Haskell said. "She's been very straightforward with me when I was on the committee. I worked with her on the hospice program and was pleased we were able to do that," she said, referring to a program at the prison in which inmates provide hospice care to other inmates who are dying.

Ponte on Wednesday announced he was closing the Central Maine Pre-Release Center in Hallowell. The program, which currently has 58 inmates and 21 budgeted staff positions, is being relocated to the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren.

Ponte has described plans to modernize and expand the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, but the cost and extent of the upgrades have yet to be finalized or approved, Plummer said. However, he said preliminary plans call for a facility with a capacity of more than 1,000 prisoners.

Barnhart came to Maine after a 20-year career in Michigan, starting as a corrections officer and ending as acting warden at a 1,216-bed prison for adult males and young offenders. She is the first woman to become warden at the Maine State Prison.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


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