Re: “Our View: Troubling reports of Long Creek restraint use” (Sept. 14):

I’m glad that the Press Herald editorial board belatedly came around to the opinion that Long Creek Youth Development Center should be closed immediately. However, the board should accept responsibility for being too slow to come to this conclusion, possibly contributing to the continued operation of the youth prison.

Just a few short months ago (Our View, June 29), the Editorial Board opined that the movement to close Long Creek should proceed slowly enough so that kids could get “the help they need” at the facility. This, despite mountains of available evidence that prison is inherently a dangerous place for our young people to be. (Just one source: “Youth justice study finds prison counterproductive,” Adam Schaffer, The Harvard Gazette, Oct. 21, 2016.)

This week’s reveal of the continued use of life-threatening prone restraints on Maine’s children is atrocious but not surprising.

The Press Herald said in Tuesday’s editorial, “The state’s youth prison should not stay open if it is still using dangerous techniques it was warned about in 2017.” Many efforts have failed to make Long Creek safe for our youth. Because the state has shown that it is unwilling or unable to stop using prone restraints, this newspaper has effectively called for Long Creek to close, a conclusion with which I agree.

Ariel Linet

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