Juvenile Substance Abuse and Diversion Survey
Group: Maine Department of Corrections
According to research and the survey data, juvenile substance abuse is a significant issue in Maine. Many alcohol and drug offenses are often non-violent first-time offenses and early intervention is critical in rehabilitating these juveniles. Diversion programs are a beneficial alternative to incarceration but there are only a few programs currently offered in Maine. The police departments who utilize these programs, such as JumpStart or Healthy Androscoggin, have positive reports about their success with juveniles. Other communities would benefit greatly from adopting similar programs so that more juveniles can be given a second chance to succeed in life and in their community. Not all program participants will necessarily be a success story, and some will re-offend and will probably be incarcerated. However, there will undoubtedly be some participants who will learn from these programs and who will make positive life changes. The time and effort put into operating these programs is absolutely worthwhile and detrimental for the health and growth of our communities in Maine.
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