PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Department of Corrections representatives say they are exploring using secure, regional psychiatric facilities to serve young people with serious mental illness.

The Bangor Daily News reports Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick said Thursday the move could ease pressure on Long Creek Youth Development Center staff.

A recent report by the Center for Children’s Law and Policy found Long Creek was contending with a staff shortage, a lack of special education services and inmates’ acute mental illnesses.

Fitzpatrick said the facility has since hired 30 guards and is now fully staffed. He provided few details of plans for a new system.

The department is requesting proposals for a private organization that can provide special education services at the school in Long Creek, which will otherwise continue to be state-run.

Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com

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