Maine Youth Justice is a youth-led campaign fighting to end youth incarceration in Maine.

We want to invest in a range of community based supports that respond to young people’s needs, support families, and build community. We are a campaign led by young people who have been
incarcerated in Long Creek and directly impacted by the juvenile justice system. We are calling for the closure of Long Creek Youth Development Center, the end of youth incarceration, and the reinvestment of the $42 million dollars currently being spent to lock up and police Maine’s youth.

OUR Campaign To Close Long Creeek

Maine Youth Justice is leading the movement to end youth incarceration. In June 2021, Maine’s Legislature passed our bill that would have closed Long Creek by 2023, created a Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund, and repurposed the facility to a community center with housing for youth. This bill was vetoed by Gov. Mills.

Statement of Principles

We believe the best place for children and youth to grow and thrive is in the community with the support of friends and family. We are committed to advocating for alternatives to incarceration that respond to the needs of young people by meeting them where they are.

We believe that the harm caused by incarceration ripples throughout entire communities and touches everyone.

We believe that safety comes through strengthening communities, addressing the root causes of harm, and promoting individual and collective well-being, not incarceration.

We believe that no one is disposable. True justice is preventing and repairing harm and promoting healing, not punishment or retribution.

We oppose oppression in all forms for youth and adults.

We believe that the justice system is biased and marginalizes populations based on their race, religion, gender identity and expression, class, ability, addiction and mental health status, and sexual orientation.

We believe in the power of the collective. We seek to form alliances through building trust, open communication and vulnerability by collaborating with those who have lived experience with the justice system and incarceration and those who do not.

We believe in self advocacy and determination. Youth and those most impacted by the justice system must lead the transformation of the juvenile justice system.

We believe that family is chosen and young people should be able to determine who that is for them.

We believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and love.

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