Some legislators, advocates and former residents of the Long Creek Youth Development Center are urging members of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee to support legislation that would close the facility within the next two years.

Long Creek, the state’s youth correctional facility, has a budget of over $18 million a year to house about 28 individuals. That works out to about $700,000 a year per resident.

Democratic state Rep. Grayson Lookner of Portland, who sponsored the bill, says there are better ways to use that money to treat young offenders.

No one opposed the bill at the hearing, although some committee members expressed concerns about how violent young offenders would be handled.

In written testimony, Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty says while the Mills administration is open to looking at alternative treatment options, it does not support closing Long Creek.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.