I want to thank the Portland Press Herald for publishing Jim Bouchard’s insightful op-ed (“Maine Voices: Hard work of dedicated Long Creek staff unfairly overlooked,” Aug. 1). I urge the Editorial Board to take him up on his invitation to visit Long Creek and meet these hardworking and well-intentioned state employees before you write your next story on the subject of juvenile incarceration.

Unfortunately, the press has commonly overlooked the contributions of public service employees in its race to get a story out there that will shock and dismay. I have seen it too often in my 31 years as a state employee. My positions in employee relations and human resources provided me the opportunity to work with countless dedicated public servants, including those at Long Creek. Their stories are rarely told.

I’m guessing many of your readers were shocked to learn from Mr. Bouchard that Long Creek staff prevent a suicide nearly every week. They certainly didn’t hear it from you. That would have made for a completely different story of these troubled kids and the people who spend their waking hours supporting them.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Bouchard that “working to make conditions better for incarcerated youth is a noble cause” and that vilifying the very people who are trying to make a difference in the lives of these kids is destructive.

The state encourages job applicants to consider working in public service with the motto: “make a difference.” I wouldn’t have wanted to work at Long Creek after your stories. Mr. Bouchard’s piece, on the other hand, may inspire. I’m sure it lifted the spirits of the people who do good work there.

Joyce Oreskovich

Brunswick


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