Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Justice Policy

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

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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2015 Maine Crime Victimization Survey Report

Findings for the 2015 Maine Crime Victimization Report, released on December 1, 2015, were discussed at a press release forum at the Muskie School of Public Service. This report highlights findings from telephone interviews conducted with 843 randomly selected Mainers on whether they had been a victim of criminal or unwanted behavior (e.g. violent crime, property crime, threats of violence, identity crime, and stalking) in the past 12 months. 

After the presentation a distinguished panel responded to the findings and offered comments.

2015 Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System Report

A new report released by the Muskie School of Public Service reveals a racial bias towards minority youths in Maine's juvenile justice system.

"Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System" examines racial disparities in the system and provides recommendations on how to move toward racial equity. Robyn Dumont, Erica King and George Shaler of the Muskie School's Justice Policy Program authored the mixed-method report.

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