SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s center for youth offenders is continuing to use dangerous tactics to restrain detainees even after being warned about it four years ago, according to Disability Rights Maine.
Experts previously warned the Long Creek Youth Development Center against using prone restraints because it can lead to serious injuries or death and goes against how guards are trained, the Bangor Daily News reported.
But in early August, staff restrained youth in a prone position six times in one hour, representing the most alarming example of what was described by Disability Rights Maine as “urgent safety concerns.”
The allegations came four years after an outside firm investigated violence, staffing issues and self-harm at the center.
Whatever improvement that happened following the report “appears to have been lost,” Disability Rights Maine lawyer Atlee Reilly wrote to corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty earlier this month. The incidents raised other concerns about how well staff are trained to de-escalate situations before using force, he wrote.
The corrections department is conducting an internal investigation and takes the concerns seriously, a spokesperson said.
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