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Maine Lawmakers Mull Mental Health Wing at Prison
08/27/2013 01:37 PM ET  

A legislative 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.

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.


 

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