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.
Today, Cumberland County has a very strong Drug Court program, along with several other counties in Maine
In Cumberland County, eligibility for Adult Drug Court is limited to those people who are currently on probation or have criminal charges. Often times, people are referred to the Drug Court 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 15 to 18 months to complete all five phases of the program.
Although we recognize that relapse is a component of recovery, 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. From the experience of the District Attorney’s office, it is recognized that the most successful candidates in Drug Court are the individuals who are in the program because he or she recognizes that they need help, as opposed to simply avoiding punishment for a crime. Drug Court is an extremely valuable program if utilized to its potential.