Gov. Deval Patrick has appointed Luis Spencer to be the new commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
Spencer, who has served as acting Commissioner since January, will oversee the department's 18 prisons and other facilities and its 5,400 staff members.
The department currently houses 11,000 inmates with an annual operating budget of about $500 million.
Patrick said Spencer's prior experience in the department will help the state maintain what he called "a modern and effective criminal justice system."
Spencer began his career as a correctional officer in 1980 and went on to serve as the superintendent of three separate facilities.
Spencer was then promoted to assistant deputy commissioner of the southern sector in 2008, acting DOC deputy commissioner 2010 and acting DOC commissioner in January.
This program aired on May 25, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.