Juvenile Program Worker - Long Creek Youth Development Center

South Portland, Maine, United States | Correctional Services | Full-time

Apply by: No close date

Be that influence of change in the lives of Maine’s justice-involved youth. A Juvenile Program Worker (JPW) at Long Creek Youth Development Center is more than a traditional Youth Correctional Officer role. The detained and committed juvenile residents of Long Creek are up to 21 years old, often with a history of trauma and concurrent mental health and substance use disorders, chronic behavioral issues, and/or aggression. We recruit moral, ethical, and dependable candidates as JPWs to be a role model, life coach, and a positive, supportive adult that can be missing in their lives. JPWs blend youth correctional officer and social worker responsibilities and provide direct supervision, safety, security, assistance, and accountability. If you enjoy a challenge, thrive in high-pressure situations, have confidence that you will make a difference, and want to join a team of like-minded professionals dedicated to the transformation and treatment of juvenile residents, read on to learn more. 

Pay Grade: 16 $24.27 - $28.16 hourly (This rate includes $1/hr. institutional stipend)
No experience necessary. Paid training with State Certification provided.
Lateral credit considered for experience in working with adolescents or as a Correctional Officer.

  • Base pay with no experience: $24.27 per hour
  • Base pay with experience: up to $28.16 per hour
  • Volunteer Overtime Incentive Pay: A base of $45.41-$51.40 per overtime hour depending on experience. Earn more with shift and weekend differentials.
  • Annual range: $50,481.60-$58,572.80 when averaging 40-hours per week, not including shift differentials or Premium Overtime rate.

There will be a 3% across the board general salary increase effective June 30th, 2024

Minimum Requirements to Apply:

  • At least 18-Years-Old.
  • HS Diploma or Equivalent (HiSET, GED, etc.).
  • Valid driver's license to apply, Maine driver’s license upon hire.
  • No serious criminal or extensive motor vehicle records. See Automatic Disqualifiers.

Work/Life Balance:

A base schedule of working 7 out of 14 days per pay period ADDS UP TO HALF OF THE YEAR OFF!

We are a 24/7/365 secured facility with 12-Hour shifts, Night, Weekend, and Shift Differentials, Premium Overtime Pay, and Merit and Longevity Increases.

Day Shift - A two-week rotation includes a three-day weekend off every two weeks.

  • Week 1 Schedule: Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat
  • Week 2 Schedule: Sun, Wed, Thurs

Night Shift – A two-week workweek includes three consecutive days off each week and every other Saturday off:

  • 3 days on and 4 days off one week
  • 4 days on with 3 days off the next week

NO MANDATED OVERTIME ON YOUR SCHEDULED DAYS OFF unless in extremely rare, emergency cases. Volunteer Overtime incentive available to all certified Juvenile Program Workers to help reduce mandated overtime across staff (time-and-a-half hourly pay + differentials + additional $9/hr. volunteer incentive when on overtime).


We believe that compassion plays a vital role in the transformation process and seek candidates who are able to foster positive relationships with juvenile residents while maintaining appropriate boundaries. As a Juvenile Program Worker, you are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all individuals under your care. This includes enforcing rules and regulations, monitoring juvenile resident behavior, utilizing crisis de-escalation techniques, and assisting residents in obtaining pro-social skills.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Be a mentor, act as a role model, and encourage positive pro-social change in juvenile residents.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for adjudicated and detained youth.
  • Assist juvenile residents in meeting appropriate standards of behavior.
  • Ensure residents' compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Communicate with and de-escalate juvenile residents exhibiting difficulty interacting within the milieu.
  • Promote a normalization culture within Long Creek’s total learning environment.
  • Supervise, guide, and motivate juvenile residents to maintain a safe and healthy environment.
  • Perform searches of living quarters and areas, buildings, and grounds to prevent possession of contraband.
  • Transport juvenile residents to court, appointments, and daily activities.
  • Observe and report individual and group interactions and resident participation in treatment programs.
  • Update logs, maintain detailed records, and share information to support the rehabilitation process.
  • Counsel, support, and advise residents regarding peer interactions, rules, and regulations, health and safety standards, and treatment strategies.
  • Utilize pro-social communication, de-escalation techniques, and skills obtained through training provided to maintain safety and security.
  • Evaluate the potential for negative interactions and respond with trauma-informed interventions and behavior management.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

To successfully perform the assigned work once hired, one must possess certain knowledge, skills, and abilities. These can be learned on the job and through the top-of-the-line education and training that is provided by Maine Department of Corrections. These include:

Knowledge of:

  • Adolescent development and behavior.
  • Methods of providing care, custody, and supervision of juvenile residents in our care.
  • Counseling techniques and modern security principles and practices.
  • Trauma informed care.
  • Restorative justice practices.

Ability to:

  • Model appropriate behavior, attitude, ethics, and morals.
  • Provide guidance and leadership to juveniles.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in both verbal and in writing.
  • Maintain order and supervise juveniles, individually and in groups.
  • Assess adverse situations and act according to appropriate protocol.
  • Exercise independent judgment, discretion, and self-control.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Observe and communicate situations and resident behavior in detail.
  • Prepare detailed reports of activities.
  • Understand and follow instructions, interpret, and enforce youth center rules.

Benefits Summary (further details below):

We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Health, Dental, Vision, and Life insurances.
  • 25-year MainePERS Retirement.
  • Paid Vacation, Holidays, and Sick leave.
  • 6 weeks of Paid Parental Leave for new parents.
  • 17 days of paid Military Leave for active-duty soldiers.
  • Employee Assistance Program offering free support on work/life, financial, legal, and confidential counseling matters.
  • Gym Membership Reimbursement up to $40 per month.
  • We are an eligible employer in the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • Uniforms provided.
  • Free meals when service is during your shift.
  • Paid Education, Training, & State Certification

Successful JPWs come from all walks of life. Bring your desire and commitment to be a positive role model and we will provide you with the best training and education to begin a stable and rewarding career.

  • Six-Week paid ‘Juvenile Basic Corrections Training Program’ (JBCTP) with State Certification.
  • Classroom instruction and hands-on scenario training in the secured facility.
  • JBCTP held at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, ME.


Interested but unsure if Corrections is for you? Ask about our PAID JOB SHADOW PROGRAM when contacted.

Learn More:


About Long Creek Youth Development Center:

Located in South Portland, ME, Long Creek is the ONLY secure juvenile justice center in Maine. Our facility is focused on the wellbeing of juvenile residents and staff. We offer multiple programs to support behavioral rehabilitation, educational attainment, and workforce skills for justice-involved youth.

Known for its working waterfront, many parks and lighthouses, and retail outlets and restaurants, South Portland offers suburban living with metropolitan nightlife. Enjoy the land, water, and air by being only minutes from the ocean, a 30-minute drive to Maine’s mountains, and steps away from the Portland Jetport.

Find camaraderie and a sense of belonging when you join our team. We are invested in increasing public safety through improved outcomes for our juvenile residents. This is a great place for applicants interested in public safety, social work, behavioral health, case management, probation, law enforcement, acuity care, adolescent development, advocacy, or psychology. 

About Maine Department of Corrections:

MDOC is destigmatizing corrections for the betterment of all Maine communities. Through the ‘Maine Model of Corrections’, we promote the safety of our staff and residents while reducing barriers to meaningful rehabilitative opportunities. We facilitate restorative justice practices that equip justice-involved residents and clients with the skills they need to become contributing members of society upon release, including treatment, education, and job training. We are committed to rebuilding lives and are searching for great team players, with a professional attitude and well-developed integrity and ethics, to join us in this mission.

State of Maine Benefits

No matter where you work across Maine state government, you find employees who embody our state motto—"Dirigo" or "I lead"—as they provide essential services to Mainers every day. We believe in supporting our workforce's health and wellbeing with a valuable total compensation package, including: 

  • Work-Life Balance – Rest is essential. Take time for yourself using 13 paid holidays96 hours of accrued of sick leave, and 3+ weeks of vacation leave Vacation leave accrual increases with years of service, and overtime-exempt employees receive personal leave. 
  • Health Insurance Coverage– The State of Maine pays 85%-100% of employee-only premiums ($10,523.28-$12,380.40 annual value), depending on salary. Use this chart to find the premium costs for you and your family, including the percentage of dependent coverage paid by the State: https://www.maine.gov/bhr/oeh/benefits/som-health-plan/premium-rates.
  • Health Insurance Premium Credit– Participation decreases employee-only premiums by 5%. Visit the Office of Employee Health and Wellness for more information about program requirements. https://www.maine.gov/bhr/oeh/benefits/health-premium-credit
  • Dental Insurance– The State of Maine pays 100% of employee-only dental premiums ($350.40 annual value). 
  • Retirement Plan– The State of Maine contributes 19% of pay to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS), on behalf of the employee.  
  • Gym Membership Reimbursement– Improve overall health with regular exercise and receive up to $40 per month to offset this expense. 
  • Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts– Set aside money pre-tax to help pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses and/or daycare expenses. 
  • Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness– The State of Maine is a qualified employer for this federal program. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid office: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.
  • Living Resources Program – Navigate challenging work and life situations with our employee assistance program. https://www.maine.gov/bhr/oeh/benefits/living-resources
  • Parental leave is one of the most important benefits for any working parent. All employees who are welcoming a child—including fathers and adoptive parents—receive six weeks of fully paid parental leave. Additional, unpaid leave may also be available, under the Family and Medical Leave Act: https://www.maine.gov/bhr/state-employees/rules-policies/policy-practices-manual/Employee-Rights-and-Responsibilities-Federal.
  • Voluntary Deferred Compensation– Save additional pre-tax funds for retirement in a MaineSaves 457(b) account through payroll deductions. 
  • Learn about additional wellness benefits for State employees from the Office of Employee Health and Wellness: https://www.maine.gov/bhr/oeh

There's a job and then there's purposeful, transformative work. Our aim is to create a workplace where you can learn, grow, and continuously refine your skills. Applicants demonstrate job requirements in differing ways, and we appreciate that many skills and backgrounds can make people successful in this role. As an Equal Opportunity employer, Maine State Government embraces a culture of respect and awareness. We are committed to creating a strong sense of belonging for all team members, and our process ensures an inclusive environment to applicants of all backgrounds including diverse race, color, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, familial status or genetics. If you’re looking for a great next step, and want to feel good about what you do, we’d love to hear from you. Please note reasonable accommodations are provided to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.