MONTPELIER -- Annie Ramniceanu will oversee the state's new pretrial services system to help people convicted of crimes access substance abuse and mental health services, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito announced Friday.
Ramniceanu, who left Spectrum Youth and Family Services this year after 17 years, will develop and implement the state's new program, crafted this winter in the Legislature.
"Addiction is a health care issue, and we need to make every effort to help Vermonters with substance abuse problems get healthy and back on the right track," Shumlin said in a news release Friday.
The pretrial program, a sort of court diversion program, is designed to make it easier to funnel people accused of crimes access human services. State's attorneys in some counties, including Rutland and Chittenden, have already created such programs. In some cases, people are able to avoid charges if they comply with treatment.
Ramniceanu will work from within the Department of Corrections to supervise regional pretrial monitors, workers who will help courts track whether people assigned to utilize services do so, according to the news release.
She will work with courts, prosecutors and other criminal justice officials as well as treatment providers to develop early intervention methods that help alleged offenders address substance abuse and mental health issues, according to the release.
Ramniceanu was the associate executive director at Spectrum for the past three years.
She graduated from Columbia University and has a master's degree in counseling. She is also a licensed clinical mental health and alcohol and drug abuse counselor, according to the release.
In 2011, Ramniceanu received the Woman of Achievement Award from the Burlington Business and Professional Women Organization.