Maine has hired a longtime youth corrections official in Massachusetts to oversee its troubled youth prison.
Lynne Allen has spent the last 14 years working for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, most recently as its director of residential services. Prior to that, she ran the Judge John J. Connelly Youth Center in Boston, the state’s most restrictive youth detention facility, according to the PBS NewsHour.
She will become superintendent of Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland on Jan. 31, less than two months after another scathing report criticized the prison’s dangerous conditions and as advocates renew calls to shut the facility down.
The December report followed a streak of violence this summer between overworked staff and stressed-out kids that also forced a leadership shake-up, including Allen’s predecessor, Caroline Raymond.
“Lynne Allen stood out to the search committee because of her combination of experience, education, character and commitment to youth,” said Anna Black, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Corrections.
Allen, who holds master’s degrees in mental health counseling and criminal justice, declined to be interviewed, citing Massachusetts’ policy prohibiting her from speaking to the press.
Her Long Creek salary will be $129,064.