Report: Providers resort to cops for kids with disabilities

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - An advocacy group hopes its latest report raises awareness of Maine youth with severe mental illness who come into contact with police.

Disability Rights Maine reviewed police data for a report that said youth residential mental health programs are often relying on law enforcement to address behaviors for which youth are receiving treatment.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said it's been reviewing its policies. Two residential treatment providers said programs serving the most challenging youth may require more help.

NFI North's executive director Paul Dann said out-of-home beds for Maine children have declined from 700 to about 300 over the last eight years.

Amanda Bartlett said her 17-year-old autistic son has been in a juvenile detention facility as she searched for appropriate care for him.

© 2017 Associated Press


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