Youth corrections head placed on leave pending investigation

Long Creek Youth Development Center's administrator is currently on leave. Photo via The Portland Press Herald.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The state's corrections commissioner says the administrator of the state's youth correctional facility has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Jeffrey Merrill was placed on leave Wednesday. Associate Corrections Commissioner Colin O'Neill now heads day-to-day operations at Long Creek Youth Development Center.

Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick declined to explain what caused the shift.

Three of the facility's inmates recently tried to escape during a camping trip.

A 16-year-old transgender boy killed himself last October while detained at Long Creek. The state attorney general deemed the death not suspicious.

The boy's mother and the facility's board of visitors have raised concern about the acute mental health needs of residents.

The state has commissioned an independent review of the facility's suicide prevention policy.

Copyright Associated Press. The Gayly - 3/24/2017 @ 4:28 p.m. CST