AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

State to review pepper-spraying of mentally ill inmates

June 17, 2020 GMT

The state of Maine is reviewing whether Cumberland County Jail corrections officers used excessive force last year when they pepper sprayed two mentally ill inmates who were in the midst of a psychotic episode.

The Maine Department of Corrections will review the incidents after a complaint from the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Maine.

Jenna Mehnert, NAMI executive director, said she asked for an independent review after Sheriff Kevin Joyce stood by the actions of his staff.

The conflict highlights dilemmas that routinely occur because of Maine’s reliance on its jails and prisons to house people in mental health crises, the Bangor Daily News reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

In one of the cases, officers sprayed a man’s cell with pepper spray to handcuff him. He arrived at Riverview Psychiatric Center in such poor condition that he was sent to a hospital.

___

This story’s headline has been fixed to correct the spelling of “pepper.”

ADVERTISEMENT