Maine’s chief justice unloads on lack of sentencing options
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley says it’s a “tragedy” that judges face a lack of sentencing options when it comes to teen offenders.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court this week upheld a Skowhegan teenager’s confinement at the Long Creek Youth Development Center but Saufley decried the fact that the judge faced only two alternatives, incarceration or probation, neither of them ideal.
Defense lawyer Tina Nadeau tells the Portland Press Herald that the teen “doesn’t have a violent bone in his body” but remains at a center that houses youth who’ve killed.
Saufley says the lack of alternatives doesn’t violate state law but says, “We can and must do better for Maine’s youth.” She says alternatives could include behavioral modification programs, residential treatment facilities, group homes and enhanced mental health treatment.