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Drug Offense Trends and Drug Offender Recidivism in Maine

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2013
27 pages
This report presents data on drug offense arrest trends in Maine for 1986-2010 compared to drug arrest trends in New England and the United States as a whole for 2006-2010, as well as Maine's drug offender recidivism outcomes.
The data show that drug-offense arrests have increased dramatically in Maine over the last 25 years. Arrest data collected between 1986 and 2010 indicate the number of drug arrests increased from 1,747 in 1986 to 5,912 in 2010, an increase of 238.4 percent. In addition, the share of drug arrests as a percentage of all arrests in Maine has increased from 4.1 percent in 1986 to 10.9 percent in 2010. The data on adult probationer drug offender recidivism rates suggest that drug offenders do not reoffend at significantly higher rates than non-drug offenders. From 2004 to 2011, the 1 year re-arrest rate of drug offenders for any new crime was lower than for non-drug offenders (21.9 percent compared to 24.4 percent). In addition, technical violation rates were lower for drug offenders than non-drug offenders at 1, 2, and 3 years. These rates suggest that drug offenders are a less risky population for re-offending, so they may not require more intensive supervision in the community than offenders convicted of non-drug offenses. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has created a multi-jurisdictional drug task force to provide a central administrative structure for the establishment, coordination, and oversight of specialized narcotics and narcotic-related investigative units within the State. Although the tasks force may be a factor in the increase in arrests for drug offenses across the State, it has also supported efforts to proactively address the proliferation of illegal drug activity. Tables and figures