AUGUSTA – In celebration of National Drug Court Month, Maine‚Äôs adult drug courts and family drug courts honored graduates and participants during the month of May.
National Drug Court Month is coordinated at a national level by the National Association of¬† Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). This year, drug courts throughout the national are celebrating with the theme: ‚ÄúDrug Courts: A Proven Budget Solution.‚ÄĚ What started in a Florida courtroom over twenty years ago has become the nation‚Äôs most successful strategy for dealing with substance abusing offenders and parents.
Like the other 2,500 operational drug courts in the United States, Maine‚Äôs drug courts are a judicially-supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, protects community safety, and improves public welfare. In drug courts, individuals abusing or dependent on drugs and alcohol remain in treatment for significant periods of time while under close supervision. Drug court participants must meet their obligation to themselves, their families, and society. To ensure accountability, they are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, rewarded for doing well and sanctioned for not living up to their obligations. Research continues to show that drug courts work better than jail or prison, better than probation, better than the regular child dependency court track and better than treatment alone.
Adult drug courts are this nation‚Äės most effective strategy at reducing recidivism among seriously drug addicted, nonviolent offenders with long criminal histories. Nationally, 75% of individuals who complete adult drug court are not re-arrested. Adult drug courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve and return as much as $27 for every $1 invested. Parents who are involved in family drug courts are more likely to reunify with their children, are more likely to enter and complete treatment, and are less likely to being subsequently involved in the child welfare system. Family drug courts provide a cost benefit to the state by reducing children‚Äôs time in foster care.
Maine‚Äôs six adult drug courts observed their tenth year of operations in April. They are located in Alfred, Portland, Auburn, Bangor, Ellsworth, and Machias. Since 2001, over 1,000 adult offenders have participated in adult drug court with the rate of graduations exceeding the national average. The family drug courts began in Lewiston in 2005 and have expanded to Augusta and Bangor. Maine‚Äôs family drug courts have reunified 78 children with their families and have seen 26 drug free babies born to mothers enrolled in the drug courts.
Drug Courts across the State of Maine celebrated National Drug Court Month in May by honoring those who have successfully completed their programs. Androscoggin County‚Äôs Family Treatment Drug Court, Cumberland County‚Äôs Adult Drug Treatment Court and Hancock County‚Äôs Adult Treatment Drug Court all celebrated with graduations. Penobscot County‚Äôs Family and Adult Treatment Courts held an event honoring active clients and past graduates.
Contact Name: Darcy Wilcox
Telephone Number: (207)610-3214