Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Teen sues over detention at Long Creek, challenging Maine’s imprisonment of youths


A Skowhegan teen is asking the state’s top court to overturn his commitment to Maine’s youth prison in a case that claims the state corrections system is incapable of rehabilitating young people. 
Last October, the 16-year-old, who is called J.R. in court documents, was sentenced to incarceration at the Long Creek Youth Development Center up to the age of 18 for a series of non-violent crimes, including two charges that were dropped from felonies to misdemeanors. 
In a February appeal, the teen’s lawyer, Tina Heather Nadeau of Portland, asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to release J.R. and declare incarceration of young people for such minor crimes “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Maine and U.S. constitutions. 
The lawyer argued in a Friday court brief that her client was sent to Long Creek because the state lacks alternatives to the prison and that the juvenile court “abused” its discretion in locking up someone who was not a threat to the public. 
More >> Teen sues over detention at Long Creek, challenging Maine’s imprisonment of youths

The line in red really sums it up.  The state lacks alternatives.  That's because it's been so damn important to cut all of the alternatives that we did have under the guise of Paul LePage and Marry Mayhew's welfare reforms.  That leaves us with only the worst and most expensive options for dealing with our troubled youth. 

It's quite pathetic really.

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