Fitzpatrick named acting corrections commissioner
Augusta — Gov. Paul R. LePage appointed Maine Department of Corrections Associate Commissioner Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick as Acting MDOC Commissioner.
He is the MDOC clinical director and the associate commissioner for Juvenile Services.
MDOC Commissioner Joseph Ponte has accepted an appointment to serve as the commissioner of the Department of Correction for New York City’s jail system, starting in April 2014.
“Dr. Fitzpatrick’s background and experience in the state’s prison system makes him an excellent choice to lead the department,” said LePage in a news release. “He has demonstrated strong leadership skills during his tenure at MDOC, and I am confident he will continue his commitment to public service in his new role.”
A clinical psychologist, Fitzpatrick is trained in both pediatric and adult mental health. Before moving to Maine in 1990, he was on staff at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and he was a member of the adjunct faculty of Harvard Medical School. Fitzpatrick has worked 20 years for the MDOC in several capacities.
He began as a staff psychologist at the Maine Correctional Center, then was involved in several departmental initiatives and statewide committees that concentrated on forensic mental health issues. As the MDOC clinical director for the past several years, Fitzpatrick has been involved with both the adult and juvenile divisions with a focus on the provision of high-quality assessment and treatment services.
"I appreciate the tremendous opportunity and responsibility Gov. LePage has entrusted to me," said Dr. Fitzpatrick. “Commissioner Ponte has made significant reforms in the MDOC statewide system, and I look forward to continuing this progression through a balance of treatment and security advances. The MDOC administrators, supervisors and line staff are a very talented team of professionals and I have no doubt that together we will continue to move the department in a positive direction.”
Most recently, Fitzpatrick oversaw the development and opening of the Intensive Mental Health Unit at Maine State Prison. The IMHU services the MDOC, the county jails and Maine's Department of Health and Human Services by providing comprehensive mental health assessment and treatment to criminal justice populations.
Fitzpatrick will oversee the opening of the Young Adult Offender Program at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston. He lives in North Yarmouth with his wife, Patti, and their four children, Shannon, Molly, Joseph and Emma.