Maine Behavioral Healthcare awarded $1.3M to provide substance use treatment to reduce recidivism

August 24, 2023

Contact: Valerie Compagna
207 661-6633 /

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) awarded Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) $1,307,357 to provide substance use treatment in ten Maine counties for people identified through the Treatment and Recovery Court (TRC) process. MBH is collaborating with Maine Pretrial Services, Inc., which provides case management in each of Maine's Treatment Recovery Courts.

The counties include Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Franklin, Oxford, Somerset, Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo. The grant represented an 18-month commitment for MBH to provide comprehensive substance use treatment services, including co-occurring treatment for those with accompanying mental health diagnoses.

Services are designed specifically for those who are facing substance use related criminal charges, are currently incarcerated or on probation with risk of incarceration. According to the Maine Department of Corrections, 61% of incarcerated men and women have a substance use disorder making programs like this a key component in social functioning.

Through the TRC these individuals make a commitment to their recovery by participating in treatment delivered by MBH in coordination with members of the judicial system, including a presiding judge, probation workers, case managers with Maine Pretrial Services, the District Attorney, and defense attorneys.

The benefits are significant.

“This program is critical in promoting community safety, and reducing recidivism and substance use among offenders," said Tom Kivler, LCPC, MBH Senior Director of Substance Use Services. “Our evidence-based model of treatment can increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation by implementing a blend of treatment, supervision, appropriate responses, and incentives.”

Kivler also said “It teaches people in the criminal justice system with substance use disorders to focus on the moral aspects of their illness, and the social consequences that may be associated with using substance. As the client prepares to receive less support from this team and graduate from the program, treatment dosage and frequency is reduced.”Once a participant graduates from the program, MBH offers continued services at any of its substance use treatment clinics located in Biddeford, Portland, Springvale, Rockland including via telehealth.

“We are proud to provide treatment to this population and enter into an exciting partnership with members of the community,” MBH President Kelly Barton said. “Through this work, we are modeling Maine Health’s mission of working together to make our communities the healthiest in America.”


About Maine Behavioral Healthcare
As part of MaineHealth, Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) is a not-for-profit organization serving more than 20,000 children, adolescents and adults at over 30 locations throughout southern, western, and mid-coast Maine, providing a continuum of coordinated mental healthcare from outpatient community offices to inpatient acute care at Spring Harbor Hospital. Learn more at

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system whose vision is, “Working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” It consists of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,500 employed and independent physicians working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With approximately 22,000 employees, MaineHealth provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.