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Reforming Maine’s Juvenile Justice System


2/27/2020: GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary L Bonauto submitted testimony in support of LR 3255, An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Juvenile Justice System Advisory Assessment and Reinvestment Task Force. This bill would require several measures to safeguard the health and welfare of young people in Maine’s Juvenile justice system, including:

  • Ending the practice of detaining young people “because there is no parent or other suitable person willing and able to supervise and care for the juvenile” by repealing 15 MRSA §3203, §4 (C)(2).
  • Reducing the number of detained and committed youth in the juvenile justice system according to specified benchmarks
  • Requiring participation with the Maine Juvenile Justice Systems Advisory Assessment & Reinvestment Taskforce in efforts to redirect youth into community-based justice services instead of detention and incarceration
  • Providing annual reporting by the Department of Corrections through 2024 on specific efforts, successes and challenges, numbers and outcomes and other metrics

Mary Bonauto said in her testimony, “As a member of the Maine Juvenile Justice Systems Advisory Assessment & Reinvestment Taskforce, I am pleased to see this bill take steps forward on some of the priorities identified in the Maine Juvenile Justice System Assessment (2020) that came from that process.”

Mary’s full testimony can be found here.

The Maine Juvenile Justice System Assessment report is here.

Read the full text of LR 3255 here.