Reports coming from the public safety commissioner indicate the drug abuse epidemic continues, and it is a problem for law enforcement throughout the state. However, the crime in Maine does continue to be on a downward trend. Yet, the number of violent crimes, which would be a homicide, robberies, aggravated assaults, etc., increased in 2015. The crime stats for 2015 indicated an overall drop of around 7%. Despite the overall drop that year, the drug crisis; which is continuing as of 2019, is contributing to violent crimes. As of 2019, many of the crime rates are continuing to decline.
Crime related to drug abuse can include crimes such as robbery, assault, and a variety of misdemeanor offenses. On average the state reports 1.43 violent crime incidents per 1000 people, which is below the national average. Property crime in the state does tend to be at a minimum, with an average of 18.72 incidents per 1000 persons. In 2017, the cities of Hampden and Cumberland reported no violent crimes, and 90% of the safest cities in the state reported fewer than five violent crimes. Crime and addiction for many addicts is an endless cycle and one that they struggle to get out of. It is not until they are in court where they are faced with a choice of treating their addiction or going to jail.
The Maine Judicial Branch refers to its drug treatment courts as specialty dockets. The courts place a focus on substance abuse and criminal conduct. Drug courts are a way for addicts caught up in the criminal justice system to address their addiction, and have charges dropped if they successfully complete a program. Drug courts have proven to reduce the rate of repeat offenders, but it is up to the offender to make it work. If you are caught up in the criminal justice system in Maine because of addiction, a drug court could be an option for you.