Data Snapshot of Youth Incarceration in Maine

Brief

Data Snapshot of Youth Incarceration in Maine

Abstract

Like many states, Maine has seen a significant decline in youth incarceration over the past 10 years. In 2019, about 40 youth were incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center, the state’s only detention center and youth prison. Despite reductions in youth incarceration, spending on the facility has increased and racial disparities have worsened. Many youth who are committed have behavioral health needs but are incarcerated for less serious offenses, and length of stay is actually longest among youth at low risk of recidivating. Moreover, Maine’s juvenile justice system lacks strong community-based alternatives for youth who are justice-involved or at risk of becoming justice-involved.  This data snapshot explores youth incarceration in Maine and provides data to state partners working with the YouthFirst Initiative, a national advocacy campaign supporting state juvenile justice reform efforts.

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