Researchers Call For New Approach With Youth Offenders
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A group of Maine researchers say it's time for the state to phase out its youth incarceration facility in favor of a smaller, community-based model.
The researchers are from the Justice Policy Program at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and the Center for Juvenile Policy and Law at the University of Maine School of Law. Jill Ward, one of the authors, says confinement doesn't work for most young people.
Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick tells the Portland Press Herald the state is already moving toward a community model.
He says children with the most severe mental health diagnoses who are currently housed at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland will be moved to secure psychiatric facilities.