Finding Our Voices

Commissioner Randall Liberty talks about his father’s domestic violence

Commissioner Liberty is the November guest on WERU-FM’s “Let’s Talk About It”
Wed, 11/01/2023 - 3:00pm
    The head of Maine’s Department of Corrections Randall Liberty is publicly breaking his silence about his father’s violence to his mother, on a Finding Our Voices radio show hosted by the nonprofit’s CEO/founder Patrisha McLean.
    The conversation between Liberty and McLean on WERU-FM's “Let’s Talk About It” airs Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. Listeners can tune in at 89.9 on the dial or by the live-stream on and the radio episode will be available for later listening on the Finding Our Voices website.
    Liberty’s episode will be the 31st of the monthly radio show, with past guests including two victims of the same abuser and a young man who felt guilty about going to college and leaving his mother alone with his violent father. McLean said the show "is one more way" the grassroots nonprofit Finding Our Voices "is breaking the silence, stigma, and cycle of domestic abuse across Maine." 
    Commissioner Liberty, who serves on the governor’s cabinet overseeing Maine’s jails and prisons plus all probationers, said until now he has talked publicly “only in passing” about the turmoil his father caused at home that included an arrest for domestic violence.  He said he stepped up to be on McLean's radio show because “It's important that everyone understand that domestic abuse is far reaching, and [the perception that] people of influence are above it: Not true.”
    Liberty and the Finding Our Voices founder/CEO originally connected through the nonprofit’s programs with incarcerated women at the Windham Correctional Center.  These include a “Love/not Love” art project and domestic violence-themed book discussion group.  McLean said that most of the women she has worked with at the medium-security prison have endured horrific abuse by an intimate partner and also by one or both parents when they were growing up. Jennifer Jaroszuk who does intake at the women’s unit of the prison estimates “at least 80 percent” of the residents are victims of domestic violence by an intimate partner. 
    The most visible Finding Our Voices project is its bold domestic abuse-awareness posters in business windows and bathrooms across Maine that feature McLean's photo portraits of 45 survivors, including Governor Janet T. Mills and two formerly incarcerated women, Milli and the author Melody Paul. 
    Commissioner Liberty’s Nov. 10 radio conversation with McLean paves the way for something different for the women-focused nonprofit.  On Nov. 28 at the Camden Public Library they are presenting a panel of men talking about growing up with violent fathers as well as breaking the cycle. This event caps a two-month Finding Our Voices “Let’s Talk About It” tour of public libraries from Millinocket to York. The group will be at Skidompha Public Library in Damariscotta on Nov. 7. 
    Finding Our Voices is a statewide survivor-powered nonprofit mitigating the shame, isolation, and financial abuse that are the key factors trapping women and children in domestic abuse. Its programs include a Get Out Stay Out Fund, pro bono dental care, healing retreats, and support groups. For more information visit or contact McLean directly at