Reducing Domestic Violence Crime Remains Top Priority for Governor LePage

December 18, 2014

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 18, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today approved funding for electronic monitoring programs in three counties in an effort to reduce domestic violence in Maine. The programs are part of a pilot project that will research the use of electronic devices on offenders as a way to increase compliance, reduce recidivism and maintain public safety.

The State Board of Corrections (SBOC) approved three applications on Wednesday. The SBOC announced Kennebec County will serve as the urban pilot project site, while Somerset County and Sagadahoc County will both serve as rural pilot project sites.

“Identifying and implementing programs that reduce domestic violence crimes across our State continues to be a priority for our administration,” said Governor LePage. “I appreciate the ongoing support Representative Ken Fredette has provided on this issue and in the coming weeks expect to introduce other initiatives to help end domestic violence. Meanwhile, this is a good step. Electronic monitoring has proven successful in other states, and I look forward to the results of these programs so we can move ahead on this as quickly as possible.”

The SBOC expects the pilot projects will run for up to six months, between January 1 and June 30, 2015. Kennebec County and Sagadahoc County will each receive $4,000 to begin the project, while Somerset County will receive an initial award of $2,000. Remaining funds will be distributed upon request and a demonstrated need by the three pilot project sites.

A financial order is required to allocate money from the $36,000 fund dedicated to the electronic monitoring program to those with whom the SBOC has contracted. The SBOC is independent of the State. However, in 2012 Governor LePage allotted nearly $20,000 toward the fund. The electronic monitoring task force, a seven-member group created by executive order of the Governor, was charged in 2011 with assessing the most effective and affordable ways to utilize electronic monitoring tools in Maine, as well as the most efficient ways to implement these systems. The first contribution of $18,000 came from the Second Annual Amy Lake Memorial 5K fundraiser. Steven Lake killed his wife, Amy, and her two children before turning the gun on himself. Amy had a protection order in place against her husband at the time.