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Courts and Crime

Maine Jail Gets Federal Funds to Assist Released Inmates

PORTLAND, Maine - The Cumberland County Sheriff's office is starting the implementation phase of a program designed to crack down on recidivism.

"Our goal is to try to make this the last time somebody comes back to the jail," says Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce.

Joyce says about 80 percent of those who enter the county jail system are struggling with mental health conditions or drug addiction - two aggravating factors.

Now, for the first time, with about half-a-million dollars in grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Joyce says county law enforcement will be able to assist inmates when they leave the jail, and "have things in place like medications, appointment with service providers, mentoring, housing and jobs."

Such post-incarceration assistance has not previously been available. The program is funded through September of 2017.