DOJ: Maine violating ADA, over-institutionalizing children with disabilities

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Maine has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by sending children with disabilities to mental health facilities as it fails to meet their needs in the community, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday.

In a press release, the DOJ said it concluded an investigation that found the state system “unnecessarily” segregated children with mental or physical disabilities from their communities by sending them to psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities and a juvenile detention center called Long Creek Youth Development Center in Portland.

The DOJ said children with disabilities are more likely to be institutionalized in Maine because of difficulties in accessing behavioral health and other basic needs in the community.

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