The Maine Diversionary Sentencing Program (Me.D.S.P.) is an alternative community based program designed to meet judicial sentencing requirements, along with improving the lives of low risk offenders. This program helps develop them into productive members of society, along with providing them with an opportunity for a successful re-entry back into the community.
Me.D.S.P. is a statewide five-day program designed for offenders who typically have a minimum sentence of seven to ten days. Each participant can complete approximately forty hours of community service work and sixteen hours of educational credit during the five-day program. The program is open to any offender who lives within the State of Maine or whose offense took place in Maine.
The Program’s curriculum is geared towards offenders who have drug and alcohol violations as well as miscellaneous criminal offenses. Me.D.S.P. is an effective program for counties to ensure offender accountability, while maintaining a conscientious focus of budgetary limitations.
The evenings are filled with presenters aimed at identifying risk factors that caused the participants to be in their current situation. The evening curriculum builds each day providing the participants with an opportunity to internally analyze their past decisions and recognize how to ensure better decision-making in the future.
Me.D.S.P. has performance-based measures that help us continually improve the program. The program strives to provide quality Community Service, enhance the self esteem of our participants and reduce recidivism rates to the correctional facilities. Finally, the program teaches decision-making skills in our participants that are in line with current Restorative Justice Practices.
“I really thought the week went great. It was a good feeling to contribute something useful and positive.”
— Participant feedback from September, 2009 Program —
In the last five years, Me.D.S.P. has provided a community-based structured approach to incarceration of over 670 low risk offenders. The participants have provided 17,480 hours of quality community service to help local municipalities and non-profit organizations. Along with the community service, the participants received 7,388 hours of structured education, with the intent of limiting the risk of substance abuse, achieving the ultimate goal of participants becoming pro-social members of society.
Me.D.S.P. is a viable statewide alternative to traditional incarceration for short-term, low-risk offenders. To find out more about Me.D.S.P. contact the Programs Department at the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Corrections Division, at (207) 623-2270 ext. 1242.