On Wednesday, June 7th, 2023, The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) and Volunteers of America (VOA) Northern New England co-hosted a virtual statewide convening among Maine law enforcement agencies, community partner agencies, community members, and those formerly incarcerated or currently incarcerated in Maine facilities. This convening was designed to focus on the importance of community collaboratives and the regional work being done in Waldo and Knox counties.
The convening began with Zoe Grover-Scicchitano, Executive Director of PAARI providing a brief introduction to the gathering. This was then followed by Robyn Goff, Director of Community Justice at VOA, introducing herself and her organization and emphasizing the importance of community collaboratives. Brittney Garrett, Director of Public Safety Training & Outreach, then presented a short introductory presentation to PAARI.
These discussions were followed by the below:
- Chief Tim Carroll, Rockland Police Department, presented on how local police department’s and sheriff offices collaborate in Knox County
- Chief Randy Gagne, Town of Camden, spoke about how his department collaborates with VOA
- Molly Riddle, VOA Recovery Coach Site Coordinator, and Doug Clifford, Peer Recovery Coach spoke about the importance of peer support and recovery coaching while sharing personal stories of their own experiences
- Elizabeth Simoni, Director at Maine Pre-Trial Services, shared insights into the services at her agency and the co-occurring court in District 6
- Stephen Brimley, VOA Diversion & Deflection Program Manager spoke about his organization and provided a list of their referrers
- Ann Ward, OPTIONS Clinician and Will Bulkin, OPTION Liasion presented on their work in diversion and deflection
- Joanna Crispe, Director of Programs, Restorative Justice Project Maine (RJPM) spoke about her background and the programs offered at RJPM
- Emiley Thomsen, Good Grid – Protect Solutions, shared insights about her platform and information about software systems among community partners
The convening was attended by 34 professionals from the below organizations.
- Alliance for Higher Education in Prison
- Camden & Rockport Police Departments
- Good Grid
- Healthy Acadia
- Knox County Sheriff’s Office
- Maine Pretrial Services
- Maine State Prison
- New England HIDTA
- Old Orchard Beach Police Department
- Pen Bay Pilot
- Prosecutorial District 6
- Restorative Justice Project Maine
- Rockland Police Department
- Scarborough PD
- State of Maine, Office of Behavioral Health
- Waldo County Sheriff’s Office
The next Maine Convening will be held in September. We hope to see you there!
Written By, Isabella Nowak.