Department or Program

Interdisciplinary Studies


Since 2015, corrections officers and mental health providers in Androscoggin County, Maine have become increasingly concerned about the growing prevalence of mental illness among patients (inmates) at Androscoggin County Jail. These concerns have been exasperated by recent budget and policy changes within the County and throughout the State. In partnership with Androscoggin County Jail and Tri-County Mental Health Services, I analyzed a random sample of 686 patients’ medical files from Androscoggin County Jail, reviewing 1,154 individual bookings dated from 2013 to 2017. Over 70% of patients since 2015 were found to have a substance use disorder and/or another mental illness. Mental illness and substance use disorders were highly correlated to having a greater number of bookings and a history of violent offense. A triangulation approach was used to analyze these findings within the context of recent and proposed changes pertaining to MaineCare and Androscoggin County Jail. These analyses indicate numerous problems with the provision of community-based mental health treatment in Androscoggin County. Primary issues include insurance coverage gaps, biased MaineCare eligibility policies, a lack of treatment availability within the jail, poor continuity of care across county agencies, and a fear of collaboration between county agencies and the state administration. Based on these findings, I have made a number of policy, practice, and research recommendations that would improve the accessibility of community-based mental health treatment at the jail, county, and state levels.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Taylor, Heidi

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.