Cutler Institute

New Report: Drug Offense Trends and Drug Offender Recidivism in Maine

For years, Maine’s criminal justice and public health systems have grappled with the issues of substance abuse, drug and alcohol‐related offending, and treatment for various addictions to legal and illegal substances. The body of knowledge on drug offenders and drug offenses in Maine, however, has not kept pace with the urgent need to respond to an array of drug‐related issues in communities.

This new report, funded by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, and developed by the Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) of the USM Muskie School of Public Service, enhances the knowledge base by public safety drug arrest trends (with comparison to other states) and recidivism rates of drug offenders admitted to probation in Maine.

Key findings include:

  • Drug arrests increased dramatically in Maine over the last 25 years, from 1,747 in 1986 to 5,912 in 2010. The share of drug arrests as a percentage of all arrests in Maine rose from 4.1 percent in 1986 to 10.9 percent in 2010.

  • Arrests for marijuana offenses remained the most prevalent type of drug arrests at 58.7 percent of all drug arrests in 2010. However, the percent of marijuana arrests compared to all drug arrests declined from 80.5 percent of all drug arrests in 1995 to the 58.7 percent mark in 2010.

  • Drug offenders had lower rates of re-arrest for a new crime (21.9 percent) than non-drug offenders (24.4 percent) at one and two years after admission to Maine's adult probation system.

View the full report: Drug Offense Trends and Drug Offender Recidivism in Maine