U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Maine Department of Correction Medications for Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Adult Reentry

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,125,000)

The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) is committed to a new model of corrections, promoting the safety and well-being of staff and residents, while ensuring residents and community clients see fewer barriers as they engage with rehabilitative-focused services. This philosophy, known as the Maine Model of Corrections, is founded on principles of normalization and humanization, with emphasis on destigmatization, respect, and modernization. Simply, the goal is to rebuild and transform lives.

The National State of Emergency will end May 2023, a significant number of MDOC residents who qualify for MaineCare upon release will no longer be eligible. The Health Care Marketplace will provide a option for health insurance, but incarcerated persons are not eligible to apply until after released into the community. Without health insurance, the ability to cover treatment and medication for community-based opioid use disorder treatment services will be limited or non-existent. As studies show, the risk of death from an opioid overdose two weeks after community reentry is greater than 40% compared to the risk of death in the general population. At one-year post-release the risk of opioid-related fatal overdose for formerly incarcerated individuals is 11% greater than the risk for those in the general population. 

To reduce overdose and relapse, MDOC will partner with Groups Recover Together for counseling, treatment, and medication for residents up to 8-weeks post-release. A research and evaluation partner will be identified through a Request for Applications (RFA) to compete monthly, quarterly, and yearly analysis of the project. The target population will include residents receiving medications for substance use disorder (MSUD) treatment, those releasing from the reentry centers, and those who do not have access to MaineCare at time of release.

The project identifies five goals: 1) Increased access to community-based MSUD services for residents reentering from secure confinement; 2) Reduce barriers to MSUD treatment including access to internet, phones, transportation; 3) Reduce risk of fatal overdose upon release from secure confinement; 4) Reduce overall recidivism over three-years by 2%; and 5) Reduce substance use crime recidivism over three-years by 2%.

The Department’s mission is to make our communities safer by reducing harm through supportive intervention, empowering change, and restoring lives. This project will ensure that residents receiving or in need of MSUD treatment will receive it with dignity and respect.


[1] Shabbar I. Ranapurwala et al. “Opioid Overdose Mortality Among Former North Carolina Inmates: 2000–2015”, American Journal of Public

Date Created: September 25, 2023