AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are debating whether a new mental health wing at a state prison would help a state-run psych hospital slated to lose $20 million.
A special legislative committee took testimony from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and advocates for the mentally ill on Tuesday. The committee is trying to find a solution for the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, which faces a federal funding cut due to overcrowding and understaffing.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration is urging lawmakers to create a prison mental health wing unit to ensure Riverview doesn't lose funding.
But the ACLU says it's wrong to put patients in a prison-setting who haven't been criminally charged. They say it won't address many of the federal government's concerns about Riverview.