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Proposal Would Create Grant Program for Drug Treatment in Jails

The Legislature is considering a bill that would establish a grant program to pay up to half the cost of jail-based drug treatment programs.

Saco Sen. Justin Chenette says his proposal has support from county sheriffs, including York Sheriff Bill King.

“Problem of addiction has evolved into a public health and public safety crisis. While enforcement and drug interdiction should certainly be a part of our response, our community members need treatment to combat their addiction,” King says.

Many inmates housed in county jails across the state have a drug addiction problem and there are few programs to provide treatment. But the Maine Medical Association cautions that lawmakers have just created a task force to address the drug addiction crisis and that grants for the jails should be considered in the context of the broader problem.