Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney and Kennebec County Sheriff Ken Mason will speak about the Co-Occurring Disorders and Veterans Court during a presentation Wednesday at the University of Maine at Augusta.

The free talk is part of a new speaker series hosted by the school’s Justice Studies department. It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Jewett Auditorium.

Sharon McMahon Sawyer, an assistant professor of justice studies, said in a news release that the purpose of the speaker series is to connect the university community and the public to policy makers from around the state.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Mainers to understand how our leaders think and work,” she said. “This forum gives everyone a chance to speak out to those whose policies affect our lives here in Maine.”

The Co-Occurring Disorders and Veterans Court, based in Augusta, was started in 2005 for individuals with significant substance abuse disorders, mental illness and serious criminal charges. It provides intensive judicial monitoring, case management, specialized treatment and other services.

The program’s goals, according to its website, include promoting recovery from substance abuse and mental illness, the development of social skills, and improving public safety through reducing future criminal behavior. The minimum duration for participation in the program is one year, and the average person completes the program in 18 to 23 months.

Participants in the program meet weekly with a judge and meet multiple times per week with an assigned case manager. They also undergo frequent and random drug and alcohol testing and receive intensive outpatient treatment. Case managers assist patients in securing safe and affordable housing and accessing employment and educational opportunities.

The school will host Warden Randall Liberty of the Maine State Prison on Nov. 29. Liberty, a former Kennebec County sheriff, will discuss innovative corrections programs at the prison. The press release said presentations and discussions on the opioid crisis, the state Legislature and navigating veterans programs and benefits are scheduled for next year.

For more information, contact McMahon at [email protected] or 207-621-3257.

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