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Goals of the Maine Department of Corrections
- A. To measurably improve the well being of children in every Maine community.
- The Department of Corrections has a limited ability to prevent crime. The nature of our work is to deal with offenders after the crime has been committed. Yet, we do have expertise about the causes of crime that we can share and we can support the efforts of communities, families and organizations in their attempts to reduce crime. Therefore, this goal directs us to link our resources with other agencies and organizations and to emphasize those areas that affect families and children – particularly children at risk. State law also requires the department to develop prevention programs for juveniles.
- B. To ensure that Maine people and communities are protected from further criminal behavior from offenders who are under the department’s jurisdiction.
- This goal seeks to enhance community safety through improved risk management and risk focused intervention. Most offenders in Maine are released and return to the community. Based on crime statistics and applied research, we can identify key areas or needs which, if addressed, can influence the behavior of offenders and thereby reduce their risk to the community. The key areas that the department has identified as priority interventions for this strategic plan are to increase community alternatives to incarceration for juvenile offenders, treatment and supervision programs for sex offenders, substance abuse and mental health and educational and vocational programs intended to increase the likelihood of self-sufficiency.
- C. To ensure that offenders are accountable to both their victims and the communities in which they offend and that communities are full partners and share responsibility for how offenders are held accountable.
- Restorative justice, one of the department’s six guiding principles, challenges us to design and administer a system that places the needs of the victim and the harm done by the offending behavior at the center of the process by which we sanction and hold the offender accountable. The standards and norms established at the community level and enforced there through formal and informal processes will have the greatest effect on crime and its prevention. This goal recognizes the role of communities in maintaining society’s norms and also recognizes the department’s role in assisting and supporting communities in this endeavor.
- D. To ensure a correctional environment in which employees and offenders are safe.
- The department’s ability to assure the safety of its employees, the offenders within our facilities and the countless volunteers, families, friends and others who access our facilities or programs is dependent on secure facilities and well supervised programs, well maintained and operated facilities, and an accurate assessment of the number of offenders, their offenses and supervision needs.
- E. To become leaders in the delivery of effective and accountable programs and services.
- The Department of Corrections responds to many publics, including our funders, providers and users of services. It is essential that the department ensure the highest level of professionalism and, to this end, we are committed, on an ongoing basis, to researching and evaluating our programs and services, and to supporting our staff and providers in their efforts to meet our goals.