Out of the Shadows - The Legacy of Pineland Logo

Sources and Resources

This collection of laws, proposed legislation, reports from task forces, and lawsuit and consent decree documents represents two centuries of discourse and policy that has impacted people with developmental disabilities in Maine and across the United States.

Click on the title of a selected resource to view it as a PDF.

1656 – 1817 Warning Out in New England – Josiah Henry Benton, published 1911

1821 – Maine Law 1821 Relief for the Poor Town Farm and Almshouses Established

1821-1915 Cumberland Overseers of the Poor Documents 1821-1915

1834 – Committee Report and Resolve on creation of Insane Hospital

1840 – Regulations of the Maine State Mental Hospital 

1848 – Training and Teaching Idiots by Samuel Howe

1850 – Maine Law 1850 Chapter 193 – An act to provide for the education of youth

1859 – Report to Legislature on Idiotic Children

1866 – A Manual for the Classification, Training, and Education of the Feeble Minded, Imbecile, and Idiotic

1866 – Ceremonies on laying the corner-stone of the New York State Institution for the Blind

1874 Reports of the Commissioners on New Insane Hospital

1903 Maine Revised Statutes on the Education of Youth

1905 Report of Committee on Home for Feeble Minded

1907 Maine Law Ch 44 Establishment of School for Feeble Minded

1909 Maine Law Judge of Probate May Commit to School for Feeble Minded

1911 Maine Law Chapter 19 Establishing Board of Trustees

1913 Report of the Maine School for Feeble Minded

1915 Maine Law Chapter 113 – An Act to Prevent the Aiding or Abetting of the Escape of Inmates of the Maine School for the Feeble Minded 

1917 Maine Law – Children sent to School for Feeble Minded

1917 Summaries of State Laws Relating to the Feebleminded and the Epileptic – Maine

1925 Maine Law Chapter 208 – Sterilization

1931 Maine Law Chapter 216 – Establishment of Dept of Health and Welfare

1931 Maine Law Chapter 172 – Penalty for Abetting Escapees

1931 Maine Law Chapter 215 – Duties of Superintendents

1933 Maine Law Chapter 1 – Organization of Department of Health and Welfare

1941 Maine Law Chapter 217 – allowing inmates temporary leave from Pownal

1945 Maine Law Chapter 63 – AN ACT Relating to the Determination of Mentally Defective Children

1945 Maine Law Chapter 149 – AN ACT to Create a  Division of Special Education for Physically Handicapped Children

1947 Resolution Chapter 152 – Appropriation Bill for Pownal

1949 Maine Law Chapter 403 – AN ACT Creating the State Board of Education

1949 Maine Law Chapter 29 – Furnishing and Operating Two New Dormitories

1955 Maine Law Chapter 467 – AN ACT Relating to Education of Physically Handicapped or Exceptional Children

1955 Maine Resolution Chapter 50 – Appropriation emergency funds for Pownal

1955 Legislative Research Committee Report on Institutions – Pownal State School section and conclusions

1955 Maine Law Chapter 211 – Appropriation of $1.2 million for Pownal

1957 AN ACT Changing the Name of Pownal State School to Pineland Hospital and Training Center

1957 Maine Law Chapter 368 – AN ACT Relating to Teachers for Mentally Retarded Children

1959 Maine Law Chapter 360 – AN ACT Providing for Mental Health Services

1959 Maine Sentiment Chapter 170 – AN ACT to Reactivate a Maine Committee on Problems of the Mentally Retarded

1959 Maine Law Chapter 189 – Ages of Institutionalization

1959 Maine Resolution Chapter 64 – Flora Burrill Tibbetts lawsuit

1961 Maine Law Chapter 304 – AN ACT to Revise Laws Relating to Department of Mental Health and Corrections

1962 Report to the President- A Proposed Program for National Action to Combat Mental Retardation

1963 Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments

1963 Mental Retardation and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act

1964 Maine Revised Statutes Title 20 Chapter 405 – MENTALLY RETARDED CHILDREN 


1965 Maine Law Chapter 380 – AN ACT Relating to Application to Municipalities for Support of Indigent Dischargees from the Pineland Hospital and Training Center

1965 Maine Sentiment – AN ACT to Reactivate Maine Committee on Problems of the Mentally Retarded 

1967 Maine Law Chapter 535 – AN ACT Establishing the Bureau of Mental Retardation

1967 State of Maine Mental Retardation Facilities Construction Plan 

1969 Maine Law Chapter 349 – AN ACT Relating to Admission to the Pineland Hospital and Training Center

1969 Maine Law Chapter 265 – AN ACT Relating to the Guardianship of Mentally Retarded Persons

1970 Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments

1971 Maine Law Chapter 610 – AN ACT Implementing the Reorganization of the Department of Educational and Cultural Services

1973 Maine Law Chapter 609 – AN ACT Relating to Exceptional Children

1973 Rehabilitation Act

1975 Maine Law Chapter 507 – AN ACT Establishing an Office of Advocacy for the Department of Mental Health and Corrections

1975 Class Action Lawsuit – Wuori v. Concannon Complaint

1975 Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act – Public Law 94-103

1975 Maine Law Chapter 293 – Department of Health and Welfare to Department of Human Service 

1975 The Education for All Handicapped Children Act 

1978 Developmental Disabilities Act

1979 to 1983 Pineland Consent Decree

1980 Long Term Care Dilemmas – Perceptions and Recommendations – Report of Task Force on Long Term Care for Adults


1981 Maine Law Chapter 493 – AN ACT to Create a  Department of Corrections 

1981 Maine Law Chapter 511 – AN ACT to Require the Department of Human Services to Provide Home-based Care as an Alternative to Nursing Home Care 

1981 Maine Law Chapter 693 – AN ACT to Revise the Education Laws

1981 Maine Law Chapter 402 – Marriage Laws

1983 Maine Law Chapter 459 – AN ACT to Recodify the Statutes Relating to Corrections and Mental Health and Mental Retardation

1990 Americans with Disabilities Act – as amended through 2008

1990 IDEA Law – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


1996 LD 1859 – An Act to Authorize the Disposition of Property Interests at the Pineland Center

1996 Maine Report of the Assisted Living Task Force

1997 Final Report of the Commission to Determine the Adequacy of Services to Persons with Mental Retardation

1999 Olmstead v LC Supreme Court decision

2000 Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services Strategic Plan 

2003 Maine Law Chapter 689 Creation of Dept of Health and Human Services 

2003 Maine Olmstead Roadmap for Change – Work Group for Community Based Living


2005 Maine Law Chapter 662 – An Act to Improve Early Childhood Education 

2007 LD 1686 – An Act To Reduce Administrative Costs in Programs Delivered to People with Mental Retardation 

2007 Maine Law Chapter 450 – An Act To Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

2008 Report of Blue Ribbon Commission to Study the Future of Home-based and Community Care

2009 Cross-System Profile of Maine’s Long Term Support System 

2010 Maine Department of Health and Human Services History and Organization

2010 Maine Legislative Record – Statement of Regret about Malaga Island

2011 Maine Law Chapter 542 – An Act To Implement the  Recommendations of the  Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council Regarding Respectful Language

2012 Report of the Work Group pursuant to Resolve Chapter 80:  To Develop a Plan To Improve Public Guardianship Services to Adults with Cognitive Disabilities 

2017 Federal OIG Report – Maine Did Not Comply With Federal and State Requirements for Critical Incidents Involving Medicaid Beneficiaries With Developmental Disabilities