June 13, 2021

This week’s guests during our one hour radio broadcast with host Jim Fausone:

  • Command Sgt Maj Randall Liberty (ret), Maine Department of Corrections
  • Marine Craig Grossi, Author of “Craig and Fred”

June 13, 2021 - Maine's Prison System and Finding Purpose for Incarcerated Veterans

Hosted by Jim Fausone

Randall Liberty US Army Sgt Major (ret) Maine Correctional System

Randall Liberty, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections

Randall Liberty served for 24 years in the Army, Army National Guard, and Reserves, ultimately retiring as a Command Sgt Major. His overseas assignments include Korea, Iraq, and Italy. Randall experienced some of the all-too-common transitional issues.

However, he has a civilian career that spans law enforcement, 16 years as a sheriff, four years as a prison warden, and now Commissioner of the State of Maine Department of Corrections. Randall has an interesting background that he brings to his current job.  He has been an innovator about prison programs that provide the men purpose and self esteem.

He talks about life and the need to give those incarcerated a second chance and redemption.  He has a particular interest in helping fellow veterans instituting a program that includes training of service dogs in the prison.

In November of 2013, a PBS documentary was released featuring Commissioner Liberty titled “A Matter of Duty.” A Matter of Duty details Kennebec Sheriff Randy Liberty’s personal battle with PTSD and several veterans in his charge at the Kennebec County Jail. Liberty’s honesty about his own condition and his efforts to help other veterans vividly depicts the continuing impact of war on the men and women who have served our country. Brace yourself for an emotional experience as you WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY.

 

Craig Grossi and his book Craig and Fred

Marine Craig Grossi Mentors Incarcerated Veterans in Service Dog Training

Craig Grossi is the author of the heartwarming story of “Craig and Fred” . He tells the deeply emotional and inspiring story of the next phase of their lives together: working closely with prison inmates in Maine who raise and train puppies to become service dogs.

Craig discovered that many of the prisoners are veterans—former soldiers serving their country in an entirely different way: by transforming purebred Labrador Retrievers from floppy puppies into indispensable companions for disabled vets. These service dogs literally and figuratively open doors for men and women, offering hope and a renewed sense of freedom.

Yet these disabled vets are not the only lives changed by these dogs. The inmates who train them “are given a purpose, they’re given experience, and most importantly they’re given a sense of self-worth,” Craig explains. “The men at Maine State are given a second chance—something that I believe everyone deserves.” For Craig, the visit had a profound impact. “There was something special going on inside its walls and it was calling out to me. I quickly realized that the program and its men had something to show the world.”

“Second Chances: A Marine, His Dog and Finding Redemption,” by Craig Grossi. William Morrow. $25.99.

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