Maine's Adult Drug Courts and the Drug Court System

See Also: Drug Court FAQ, Family Treatment Drug Court

Why does Maine Need Drug Courts?

  • Research shows that severity of a persons dependency is directly related to criminal behavior.
  • On average 87% of crime is committed by those with a severe level of substance abuse dependency.
  • A 1999 study of Maine's prison population showed that 95% of the Dept. Of Corrections population is in need of some form of substance abuse services.

The Drug Court Mission

The mission of the Adult Drug Treatment Court is to hold criminal offenders accountable, to stop criminal activity related to the abuse of alcohol and drugs, and to increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation of offenders through early, continuous, and intensive judicially supervised substance abuse treatment and other appropriate rehabilitation services that will allow participants to become more integrated in the community as productive and responsible members of society.

Drug Court Goals

  • Reduce alcohol and drug abuse dependency among criminal offenders
  • Enhance community safety by reducing criminal recidivism
  • Increase personal, familial and societal accountability of offenders
  • Develop in offenders the necessary personal, familial and societal assets and skills to become productive citizens through, for example, employment, positive community activities, and healthy and safe family relationships

What is a drug court?

A drug court is a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. Drug court programs bring the full weight of all interveners (judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, substance abuse treatment specialists, probation officers, law enforcement and correctional personnel, educational and vocational experts, mental health workers and many others) to bear, forcing the offender to deal with his or her substance abuse problem. Drug courts work similar to a court diversion program in that, in exchange for a guilty plea a client may enter the drug court and following drug court graduation expect a greatly reduced sentence. While in drug court clients are allowed to remain in the community while being supervised by various drug court staff.

Steps to enter Drug Court

  • Acquire an Adult Drug Treatment Court (ADTC) referral form from the clerks office or the local drug court case manager
  • Return the referral form to the drug court case manager
  • Case managers will investigate the referral to ensure some history and level of substance abuse addiction as well as any crime that might prevent participation
  • Defendant will be scheduled for a DSAT treatment computerized screening appointment
  • Results from the computerized screening presented and defendant review done by the drug court team
  • Full comprehensive assessment to be scheduled for client with trained DSAT treatment provider
  • Prosecutor will contact defense counsel surrounding a potential plea agreement (Note: defendants and counsel may reserve the right to present an open plea to drug court if a plea can not be agreed upon)
  • Defendant goes before the drug court judge for acceptance
  • Defendant signs (in open court) plea agreement and waiver of rights, bail/entry contract and release form for waiver of confidential substance abuse treatment information to be shared with the drug court team members

The Drug Court Team:

  • Judge
  • Drug Court Case Manager
  • Treatment Provider
  • Probation Officer
  • Prosecutor
  • Defense Attorney
  • Law Enforcement Officers and many others who work together to support the rehabilitation of clients

For more information, contact Court Case Managers:

  • Cumberland County (207) 774-1501
  • York County (207) 282-1477
  • Hancock County (207) 667-3624
  • Androscoggin County (207) 783-5450
  • Penobscot County (207) 945-4807
  • Washington County (207) 853-4549

Where are the adult drug courts?

All courts will accept cases from both district and superior court

  • Machias & Calais District Court
  • Penobscot County Superior Court
  • York County Superior Court
  • Hancock County Superior Court
  • Androscoggin County Superior Court
  • Portland District Court