We're calling for the closure of Long Creek Youth Development Center, the state's juvenile prison.

Long Creek is failing Maine children. They are being warehoused in a violent and unsafe facility, often far away from home and community support. A recent independent report showed ongoing and systemic problems at Long Creek and an urgent need for action. The report found:

  • Terrible stories of abuse by staff against residents and documents resident-on-resident violence;
  • Children suffering from pervasive, severe mental illness do not get and cannot get the treatment they need;
  • Inappropriate use of force;
  • Failure to provide legally mandated education and special education services; and
  • An unsafe environment for the children.

Locking kids up is a failed model that goes against everything science tells us that children need for appropriate development. Community-based treatment closer to home is the best option for struggling children and for their communities. 


Ali v. Long Creek, et al
An 11-year-old boy with mental illness was brutally beaten by guards at Long Creek Youth Development Center. Despite the absence of any physical threat, the guards entered his cell and bashed his face against a metal bed frame, knocking out his front teeth. After the attack, they didn't take him to the dentist for six days, at which point it was too late to save his teeth.

This civil rights case challenges the use of excessive force, deliberately indifferent medical care, and statutory violations against the boy, referred to in the case as A.I.


Long Creek Youth Development Center Conditions Assessment Narrative Report
A report from the Children's Center for Law and Policy finding that Long Creek is chronically understaffed and ill-equipped to handle the serious mental health needs of young residents.

Youth Justice in Maine: Imagine a New Future
A white paper from the Justice Policy Program at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service, calling for a shift away from reliance on large facilities like Long Creek Youth Development Center and towards a system of in-home, community based, and evidence based out of home services for youth. 

Long Creek Board of Visitors 2016 Annual Report
The annual report from the oversight body, appointed by the governor, finding a persistent pattern of self-harm among children held at Long Creek.


A mom is suing Maine’s youth prison for allegedly ‘bashing’ her 11-year-old’s teeth out

Lawsuit says 11-year-old boy held at Long Creek was injured by staff, deprived of medical care

‘We will have another incident’: Prison cannot treat severely mentally ill youth, report says

New Report Details Serious Deficiencies At South Portland Youth Corrections Facility

Review finds Long Creek is understaffed and ill-equipped to meet youths’ mental health needs

Report urges state to overhaul Maine’s entire juvenile justice system

It’s time to shift away from incarcerating young offenders at Long Creek, researchers say

Another Study Shows Juvenile Jails, Like Long Creek in Maine, Are Ineffective

Shut. It. Down. — No, not the government, Long Creek

Our View: Time for Maine to close state’s only youth prison

Letter to the editor: Bipartisan Legislators Call for Long Creek solution

Letter to the editor: Maine is Falling Behind in Juvenile Justice Field




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