LD 320, An Act To Provide the Right to Counsel for Juveniles and Improve Due Process for Juveniles, will provide youth with both the right to counsel and improved due process rights. These rights, guaranteed to adults, help protect our youth and lower recidivism and crime.

Update 6/25/2021: Governor Mills signed LD 320 into law. Read GLAD’s statement.

This bill is designed to guarantee young people the protection of an attorney in their corner. With LGBTQ youth overrepresented in juvenile detention facilities, their unique mental and physical health struggles can go overlooked. While many youth in the state of Maine today have no real representation, this bill would ensure that young people are not overcharged and overbooked. Length of stay remains an issue, as does simply processing through the cases.

Prison is simply not a productive environment for young people and has measurable detrimental consequences. It is in everyone’s interest not to overlook our youth, and to make sure they are getting the support they need. GLAD is happy to join numerous other organizations to endorse the passage of this bill.

Read testimony from GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto.

View legislation and full testimony from other groups on the legislation webpage.