Two recent requests for federal funding met with success last month as the Trial Court received sizeable grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The two federal grants, totaling nearly $2.2 million, will help the Trial Court respond to the opioid crisis, which has resulted in more than three deaths a day in Massachusetts and overcrowding in the state’s jails and prisons. The grants represent the partnership between the Trial Court and the Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts at UMass Medical School.

The BJA grant will expand and integrate services between the four Community Correction Centers and three Drug Courts located in the Southeast. The three-year, $1.2 million BJA grant will help expand and coordinate services at Community Correctional Centers (CCC) in Brockton, Quincy, Taunton and Plymouth to serve 60 probationers a year who receive supervision at the Brockton, Hingham and Taunton Drug Court sessions. The grant will allow the CCCs to offer evening hours, which will let drug court participants access services at times that do not interfere with other obligations, such as daytime employment. The grant will also enable the CCCs to provide transportation for drug court participants to the centers. The BJA grant will fund a Project Coordinator to integrate service delivery and a Fidelity Monitor who will work for the Center of Excellence.

The SAMSHA grant expands the MISSION Model to Drug Courts in Quincy and Chelsea District Courts. The 3-year, $975,000 SAMSHA grant will enable the Quincy and Chelsea Drug Courts to embed the MISSION (Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integrations, Outreach, and Networking) model of care within their existing court infrastructure. The MISSION model is an evidence-based model, which includes case management and peer support for participants in the Drug Courts who have co-occurring substance use and mental health issues. The Gavin Foundation, a metro-Boston based treatment provider, will deliver “MISSION/BMetro” services within the courts to 90 drug court participants over three years.

The Barnstable District Court is using a previously received 3-year, $1 million SAMSHA grant to implement the MISSION model on Cape Cod, serving some 90 drug court participants with both substance use disorders and co-existing mental health issues over the three year grant.

“Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders are common among specialty court participants,” said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey. “These grants are an important win-win for our communities and drug court participants. The funding will help the Trial Court achieve its long-term goal of providing a coordinated, enhanced system of “wraparound” care between the courts and treatment providers. In return, we expect reduced recidivism as a result of improved outcomes for mental health and substance use disorders, and increased access to employment and educational opportunities for our drug court participants.”

The backstory: MISSION-Cape Project Kick Off Held at Barnstable District Court (Feb. 2016 Court Bulletin)