Justice Policy

Kim Dominicus

Administrative Specialist CL3
233E Wishcamper Center

Julia Bergeron

Research Assistant
233A Wishcamper Center

Elisabeth Snell

Project Director
237 Wishcamper Center

2015 Maine Crime Victimization Survey Report

The Maine Statistical Analysis Center hosted a press release forum for the 2015 Maine Crime Victimization Report on December 1, 2015.

Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System


Research staff at the USM Muskie School work in partnership with Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) in support of the goal of producing information to enhance Maine’s understanding of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the state. This  research documents the rate of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) for youth involved in Maine’s juvenile justice system, differences in pathways to detention for youth of color, and the  experiences of youth and families of color who have had contact with Maine’s juvenile justice system.  It uses a relative rate index (RRI) to demonstrate how youth of color are treated in comparison to their white counterparts throughout nine separate contact points in the juvenile justice system.  This Maine-focused research report aligns with several federal, state, and local efforts aimed at promoting equity for youth of color throughout the juvenile justice system. In part, this report fulfills a federal grant requirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to identify DMC within the juvenile justice system in Maine. In order to assist states in their efforts to comply with the DMC requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the OJJDP funds state-based advisory groups to understand and reduce DMC in their jurisdictions.  Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) has partnered with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine to conduct this research to inform these efforts.

For more information, contact the authors.

Suggested Citation: Dumont, R., King, E., & Shaler, G. (2015). Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service.


Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
May 18, 2015

Gender-Responsive Policy Development in Corrections: What We Know and Roadmaps for Change


Erica King, research staff at the Muskie School, co-authored this policy bulletin for the US Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections with Jillian Foley, a recent Muskie School graduate.

Lack of gender-informed policy creates challenges for correctional practitioners. When there is a gap between training that is evidence-based and gender-informed and what is written in policy, staff may find themselves hindered in their attempts to work toward establishing a gender-responsive environment. This policy bulletin, released in February 2015 and based on survey data and focus groups with women, is an initial step to determine the existence of gender-informed policy within correctional agencies. The findings of this bulletin provide an overview of the current state of gender-responsive policies for women and define a focus for future research, training and technical assistance in the effort to create a more effective, and efficient correctional approach for women offenders.

Suggested Citation: King E, Foley J. Gender-Responsive Policy Development in Corrections: What We Know and Roadmaps for Change. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections; October, 2014.

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
October 1, 2014

Barriers and Successes in U Visas for Immigrant Victims


This article, co-authored by Karen Monahan, was the result of a collaborative effort among immigration legal services providers, experts, researchers, and staff of the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.  The original paper was developed and used to provide guidance to Legal Assistance for Victims grantees on how best to advocate for U visa-eligible victims; this peer-reviewed article provides more legal context and detail on the experiences of the grantees and the victims they represented.

This article examines barriers encountered and successes experienced in the provision of legal representation and advocacy to victims of violence applying for legal immigration status under the Violence against Women Act’s U visa protections. The U visa is designed for immigrant victims who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of criminal activity, and who have helped, are helping or are likely to be helpful to government officials in the detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. This article is based on quantitative and qualitative data reported by grantees of the Legal Assistance for Victims grant program administered by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Legal Assistance for Victims program grantees provide legal aid to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking and report semi-annually on services provided. The sample consists of grantees who reported serving high proportions of immigrant and limited English proficient victims of violence in 2007 and 2008.

The article focuses on problems, successes, and creative solutions reported by attorneys and advocates working with immigrant victims eligible to receive crime victim U visas under federal immigration laws. Victims applying for U visa immigration relief must, under current law, submit a U visa certification signed by the head of a law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other government official with their U visa application.

This research provides information regarding effective strategies and best practices used by grantees that are successful in obtaining U visa certification. The systemic barriers that immigrant victims and their advocates encounter when working with U visa are also discussed, along with creative solutions grantees are using to overcome these barriers.

Suggested Citation: Hass G, Yang E, Monahan K, Orloff L, Anver B. (2014). Barriers and
Successes in U Visas for Immigrant Victims:The Experiences of Legal Assistance
for Victims Grantees. Arts and Social Sciences Journal, S1: 005. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.S1-005

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
November 13, 2014

Building Bridges Towards Safety and Accountability to End Domestic Violence Homicide


The mission of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, authorized by legislation, is to engage in collaborative, multidisciplinary case review of domestic abuse related homicides for the purpose of developing recommendations for state and local government and other public and private entitites to improve the coordinated community response that will protect people from domestic abuse.

Barbara Hart, J.D., of the USM Muskie School of Public Service is a panel member and contributing advisor/editor of this report.

Suggested Citation: Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel. (2014, April). Building bridges towards safety and accountability to end domestic violence homicide: The 10th report of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel. Augusta, ME: The Panel.

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
April 24, 2014

Maine Crime & Justice Data Book 2014


The 2014 Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of crime and justice indicators in the state, using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available for Maine. The reports looks at ten year trends in Maine, compares Maine figures with data from other northern New England states and the United States, and presents some county level findings as well.


This analysis is part of the Maine Statistical Analysis Center's (SAC) mission to provide criminal justice information to the general public and policymakers in Maine. For more information on other SAC studies, please visit their website at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/justiceresearch/


Suggested Citation: Maine Statistical Analysis Center. (2014). Maine crime & justice data book 2014. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service.



Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
April 1, 2014

Michelle Garcia Presents: Recognizing and Responding to Stalking

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Lee Community Hall (Rm 133), Wishcamper Center, USM Portland Campus
Contact Name: 
Liz Bilodeau
Contact Phone: 
(207) 780-4996
Contact Email: 

Recognizing and Responding to Stalking

Brown Bag Lunch and Learn with Michelle Garcia, Director, Stalking Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime.

FREE and OPEN to the public.

Michelle Garcia is nationally known for her trainings that aim to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to respond effectively to stalking. This training from the Stalking Resource Center provides the tools for collaboration with the criminal justice system and its many allied community partners. The goal is to effectively respond to stalking, improve victim safety and well-being, and hold offenders accountable.

Note to USM faculty/staff: This event qualifies for 20 USM Wellness Program RiseUp points.


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