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Patricia Barnhart

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Rare: Guard is charged

Prison Assault
Although prisoners and their advocates say rough treatment by guards of inmates — amounting to criminal assault — is not uncommon, Maine State Prison guard Captain David Cutler, 54, of Appleton, is apparently the only officer at the prison since 2005 to be charged with assaulting an inmate — and only the second in at least 20 years.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 07, 2013

Ponte’s prison reforms ramp up

Two Years Later
Several weeks after firing Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart and two years after taking over the Department of Corrections, Commissioner Joseph Ponte appears determined to continue — and ramp up — his forceful program of reform.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 06, 2013

Why the prison warden got fired

Getting Answers
Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte told the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee on January 16 that, because of state personnel law, he couldn't publicly say — until severance negotiations are finished — why he had fired, six days earlier, Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart. She has said she can't say why, either.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 23, 2013

Top prison officials fired

Shakeup continues
In a continuing shakeup at the troubled Maine State Prison, new Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has fired six top officials including its controversial security chief, Deputy Warden James O'Farrell.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 15, 2011

A mysterious new inmate death

Prison Scandal Watch
Despite a scandal earlier this year over a prisoner death, state corrections officials won’t allow the Phoenix to interview a Maine State Prison inmate who has claimed in letters that prison staff abused an ailing prisoner, Victor Valdez, before Valdez died in late November.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 10, 2009

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