History

The Bolduc Correctional Facility was built in the early 1930's as a farm barracks for the Maine State Prison. Known then as the "Prison Farm", this facility grew to be one of the largest dairy and beef farms in Maine.

cows in stall at Bolduc

Forty prisoners lived at the old farm barracks while a selected few resided at the Prison Farm's "Home Sites". The entire complex included three farms, the prisoners' barracks, poultry barns, turkey barns, piggery, cannery, slaughter house and numerous dairy facilities, including a pasteurization plant.

Large scale crop farming also became a trademark of the Prison Farm. Fields were leased and rented throughout most of Coastal Knox County. The Prison Farm flourished throughout the 1940's and 50's, but began to wane significantly during the 1960's until 1969, when a large fire destroyed many farm buildings and the pasteurization plant. Warden Alan Robbins, citing the lack of profitability and necessary skilled labor, closed the farm in 1970. It's interesting to note that the local newspaper quoted Warden Robbins as saying that the new "drug culture" in our society was not providing the prison with experienced farm hands normally available from a rural population.

Within two years, Warden Garrell Mullaney reopened the Prison Farm with the assistance of the Department of Manpower Affairs. No longer a farm complex, this facility provided maintenance support to the Maine State Prison. Having no budget, a small cadre of officers led by Major Ronald Bolduc reopened this facility utilizing materials and programs from the Department of Manpower Affairs. Within four years, the Prison Farm became the primary vocational training site for the Bureau of Corrections. Prisoners began transferring to this facility from other correctional institutions for their vocational education.

By 1982, the Department of Corrections had obtained ownership of the vocational programs from Manpower Affairs. All functions of the Bolduc Minimum Security Unit were once again under the sole jurisdiction of the Prison Warden. Also at this time, a small farming program had been rekindled under the direction of a part-time prison retiree. This new farm venture has continued to grow until once again the Prison Farm Program is able to provide staple goods,e.g. potatoes and dried beans, to all the Departmental Correctional facilities. The 1997 harvest produced 720 barrels of potatoes and nearly 6 tons of dried beans. Additionally, up to three head of beef cattle are slaughtered each year for use in the facility's kitchen. These are used to teach meat cutting in the Culinary Arts program as well as to feed the facility.

With overcrowding a major problem within the Department of Corrections, the 1980's saw the establishment of several new correctional facilities in other parts of the state. A Bolduc Unit Master Plan study was commissioned in 1988 under the direction of the Allied Ehrenkrantz Group. This proposal was endorsed by public referendum and through new construction and renovation, transformed the old Bolduc Minimum Security Unit to the current Bolduc Correctional Facility. Nearly five million dollars was spent between 1990 and 1993 to build two new housing units, a new gymnasium, and to renovate the old barracks. The old barracks building, which at the time of construction housed 62 prisoners, now provides facilities for programs, administration, visitation and food service. The prisoner population has increased from a pre-construction high of 62 to the current rated capacity of 222.