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Institutional Care: From 'Feeble-Minded' to 'Disabled'

Dietary for officers and employees, Pownal State School, 1943

Dietary for officers and employees, Pownal State School, 1943

Item 25649 info
New Gloucester Historical Society

Pineland stayed in the public eye. Again, national trends played out in Maine as Pine Tree Legal Assistance filed a class action suit in 1975 alleging that Pineland did not provide adequate care.

The suit resulted in a consent decree in 1978 that created care standards and set a goal for a smaller institution. The institution's progress was monitored by the courts until 1981.

Criticisms of poor care continued, however, and, along with continuing changes in philosophies of care for developmentally handicapped persons and rising costs, led to a state decision in 1991 to close Pineland.

It closed in 1996.