STATEWIDE — The Drug Treatment Courts across Maine serve several purposes.
Representatives of the treatment courts gave a presentation in front of the Judiciary Committee assessing their success over the years and their recommendations moving forward.
According to a manager at the Maine Judicial Branch, Anne Jordan, their priority is to stop crimes related to alcohol and drug abuse.
“Participants receive judicial oversight, treatment, alcohol and drug testing, and close monitoring instead of incarceration,” Jordan said.
A representative for the Public Consulting Group, Helaine Hornby, said they support high-risk criminals and their data backs them up.
“Seventy percent of people who have been through the courts, in the last several years, are now in for either an A, B or C felony charge,” Hornby said.
She said regardless of gender, the majority of people they work with are between the ages of 30 and 39.
“By not being real young, and not real old, but most of them have many years of addiction history,” said Hornby.
The major takeaway, Hornby said, was treatment courts improve public safety and improve lives, at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“We went in here with no idea what the result would be,” said Hornby. “And we looked at four years of data from 2015 to 2019, and sometimes 2020 and that was the clear conclusion.”
She said the likelihood of another offense is greatly reduced.
“Yet post-program arrest and conviction recidivism is far lower for all treatment court participants,” she said.
Some of Hornby’s recommendations are to improve community relations and add two courts to cover all eight judicial regions.