Maine's Adult Drug Treatment Courts and the Drug Treatment Courts System

See Also: Drug Treatment Courts FAQ, Family Treatment Drug Treatment Courts, Co-Occurring Disorders and Veterans Court

Why does Maine need Drug Treatment Courts?

  • Substance abuse disorders are overrepresented in the criminal justice population. According to a report published in 2010 by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 85% of jail and prison inmates are substance involved.Alcohol and other drugs were involved in 78% of violent crimes, 83% of property crimes, and 77% of public order, immigration or weapons offenses and probation/parole violations.
  • Substance abuse disorders are one of the primary contributors to criminal conduct.
  • Substance abuse disorders can be successfully treated.

The Drug Treatment Courts' 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. These programs allow participants to become more integrated in the community as productive and responsible members of society.

Drug Treatment Courts 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 employment, positive community activities, and healthy and safe family relationships.

What is a Drug Treatment Court?

A Drug Treatment Court is a special court given the responsibility to process cases involving drug-abusing offenders through comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. Drug Treatment Courts bring the full weight of all stakeholders (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 Treatment Courts work similarly to a court diversion program in that, in exchange for a guilty plea a client may enter the Drug Treatment Court and following Drug Treatment Court graduation expect a greatly reduced sentence. While in Drug Treatment Court clients are allowed to remain in the community while being supervised by various Drug Treatment Court staff.

Who is eligible to apply for admission to the Adult Drug Treatment Court?

These Courts accept adults with serious nonviolent criminal charges or probation violations and who have a significant substance abuse problem. They must live in the county in which there is an Adult Drug Treatment Court. If their charges are in another county, the District Attorney from that county must agree to transfer the case to the county with the Adult Drug Treatment Court. Participation in the Adult Drug Treatment Court is voluntary.

What steps are required to enter Adult Drug Treatment Court?

  • Acquire an Adult Drug Treatment Court referral form from the clerk's office or the local Drug Treatment Court case manager.
  • Fill out and return the referral form to the Drug Treatment Court case manager.  See the contact information below.
  • Case managers will investigate the referral to identify any history and level of substance abuse addiction as well as any crime that might prevent participation.
  • The case manager will schedule the defendant for a treatment assessment by the local contracted treatment agency.  The assessment is paid for by the State of Maine.
  • Once the results of assessment are received, the Drug Treatment Court team will review them.
  • The Prosecutor will contact defense counsel regarding a potential plea agreement (Note: defendants and counsel may reserve the right to present an open plea to Drug Treatment Court if a plea cannot be agreed upon)
  • Defendant goes before the Drug Treatment Court judge for acceptance into the program.
  • Defendant signs the plea agreement, waiver of certain rights, and bail/entry contract in open court and will sign a release form for waiver of confidential substance abuse treatment information to be shared with the Drug Treatment Court team members.

Who are the members of 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 the Adult Drug Treatment Court Case Manager:

  • Cumberland County (207) 774-1501
  • York County (207) 282-1477
  • Hancock County (207) 667-3624
  • Androscoggin County (207) 330-7500
  • Washington County (207) 853-4549
  • Or the Coordinator of Specialty Dockets and Grants at the Administrative Office of the Courts (207) 592-3493.