I stumbled upon a Maine songwriter named Jed Del Rey on Instagram, and his message is enticing, to say the least.

His description reads as follows,

I'm a songwriter trying to help close Long Creek, Maine's prison for children. Please support bills LD1779 and LD288.

For those of you who do not know, Long Creek is Maine's only youth prison. It's officially called Long Creek Youth Development Center, and is located at 675 Westbrook Street in South Portland, Maine.

According to their website, they are a 164-bed secure juvenile facility offering a range of services, including education, behavioral health, medical care, worship, and recreation in a secure setting for both committed and detained youth aged 11 to 21 from across Maine.

More than several articles have shed negative light on this youth facility, including:

Del Rey has made a commitment to his Instagram followers: for each day the facility remains open, he will serenade Governor Janet Mills with a song, advocating for the closure of Long Creek.

So far, he's sung to Mills for 48 days, performing songs like Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire," with modified lyrics such as "This world is on fire."

Articles about Long Creek cover a spectrum of concerns, from reports of alleged abuse to the practice of locking children in cells for extended periods due to staff shortages.

Maine Public reported in October 2022 that Long Creek Youth Development Center was having such a hard time with staffing that the teens are often confined to their cells due to a lack of supervision, disrupting their access to education and other activities.

The increased isolation raises concerns about its effects on the young inmates.

Jed is dedicated to raising awareness on his Instagram and spreading the word on this.

He says,

If you deny these kids a chance at a better future then you are denying all of us a chance at a better future.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

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