Cumberland County Adult Drug Treatment Court
Maine’s first ever Drug Court was established by Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson in 1996. Called Project Exodus, it was funded by the federal government to divert addicted individuals who committed crimes away from traditional case processing and outcomes into treatment and opportunities for rehabilitation.
The federal funding went away but the concept did not and now there are Drug Courts in several counties in Maine.
In Cumberland County, eligibility for Adult Drug Court is limited to those people who are currently on probation. They are typically referred to ADC by their probation officer after a violation and other efforts at treatment have been exhausted.
Referrals are made by the probation officer to the Adult Drug Court Team, which consists of a judge, and representatives from probation, treatment, the District Attorney’s Office, Maine Pretrial Services and defense counsel.
Once the Team accepts an applicant, he or she signs a contract agreeing to abide by the Drug Court Rules and enters an admission to the charged probation violation. Adult Drug Court is rigorous and includes intensive supervision, repeated drug testing, comprehensive counseling and treatment services and in some cases, medically assisted treatments (MAT). It can also include inpatient treatment, sober house living and or whatever the Team feels is necessary for success. Typically, it takes between 12 to 18 months to complete all five phases of the program.
If the participant violates the terms of the contract, he or she faces an immediate response from the Team, which can range from an admonition all the way to termination, depending upon the nature and history of violations. Termination results in sentencing on the probation violation.
Successful completion of Adult Drug Court results in avoidance of what would otherwise be a lengthy jail or prison sentence. More importantly, it may provide lifelong tools to deal with addiction issues.