We, along with youth advocates and a state task force, have long pushed for the closure of the Long Creek Youth Development Center. The detention facility in South Portland has, thankfully, shrunk to house just a couple dozen juveniles. But it has been plagued by problems and staff shortages, and it is extremely expensive.

There have been many calls for its closure. Last week, the Maine House of Representatives voted, largely along party lines, in favor of legislation to shutter the center. The Senate followed suit on Monday, although the vote was closer in that chamber. The bill faces further votes and opposition from the Mills administration.

The commissioner of the Department of Corrections, which oversees Long Creek, reminded lawmakers last month that the state has a plan to lessen its reliance on confinement for youth and that many efforts are underway to expand residential treatment and housing for the youth at Long Creek. Passing the closure bill, Commissioner Randall Liberty said, could slow this work.