| Session - 129th Maine Legislature
Resolve, To Direct the Commissioner of Corrections To Study Changes in Corrections Practices and Reinvestment in Corrections Resources To Reduce Recidivism and Control Correctional Facility Costs
Sec. 1. Commissioner of Corrections to establish working group to study changes in corrections practices. Resolved: That the Commissioner of Corrections, referred to in this resolve as "the commissioner," shall establish a working group to study and report on changes in corrections practices and reinvestment of corrections resources and develop recommendations to reduce recidivism and control correctional facility costs. The commissioner shall include in the working group membership relevant personnel from the Department of Corrections and other members who represent county corrections facilities, the court system, prosecutors, defense attorneys and groups that advocate for prison reform and any other interested persons that the commissioner determines appropriate.
Sec. 2. Working group responsibilities. Resolved: That, in furtherance of the goals of the working group established in section 1, the working group shall consider upstream interventions, diversion and alternative sentencing, prevention and harm reduction and mental health and substance use disorder treatment, including:
1. Corrections placements by type of offender, including the number of offenses committed by the offender and the number of times the offender was incarcerated;
2. The use of sentencing guidelines for certain low-level offenders;
3. The use of community-level supervision instead of incarceration for certain low-level offenders;
4. The efficacy of a graduated sanction and incentive program to ensure that disciplinary responses are swift, certain and proportional while allowing offenders to earn time off their sentences for engaging in behavior that reduces their risk of committing another crime;
5. The expansion statewide of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services;
6. The increased use of planning for the transition from incarceration to release from custody; and
7. The effectiveness of criminal justice decision makers trained in the use of evidence-based practices and interpreting key performance measures.
Sec. 3. Report. Resolved: That, by January 15, 2020, the commissioner shall submit the report and recommendations of the working group established in section 1, including any recommended legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. The committee may report out legislation based upon the report to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.
This resolve directs the Commissioner of Corrections to establish a working group to study changes in corrections practices and reinvestment of corrections resources in various ways to reduce recidivism and control correctional facility costs, including upstream interventions, diversion and alternative sentencing, prevention and harm reduction and mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
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