The Hampden County Probate & Family Court
and Springfield District Court Probation Departments
are sponsoring a Community Support Resource Fair for
attorneys, court personnel and representatives from
human service agencies who work with defendants and
have a special interest in services for this population.
This event takes place today,Wednesday, March
22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hampden County Hall of
Justice, 50 State Street, in Springfield.
More than 20 agencies will have tables
set up at the Resource Fair. Several of the agencies
offer programs and services to address the needs of
offenders and litigants who suffer with mental health,
anger management issues, or are the victims of domestic
violence. The Department of Social Services (DSS) and
the Office of Community Corrections will also be present.
The fair is the brainchild of Springfield
District Court First Assistant Chief Probation Officer
Anthony R. Carpenter and Assistant Chief Probation
Officer Margaret Oglesby. Hampden Probate & Family
Court Chief Probation Officer John B. Johnson, Springfield
District Court Assistant Chief Probation Officer Gloria
Torres and Probation Officer Terry O’Neil also
helped to coordinate the event. Anthony said the fair
will help launch a Probation-established clearinghouse
on community resources and services for defendants
and Probate & Family Court litigants..
“We discovered that there was a
need to provide more information on community resources
for referrals as well as to inform the public of newly
developed programs such as the Fatherhood Program and
another program for recovering addicts with prostitution-related
offenses called A New Walk of Life. This effort will
provide those in need of services better access to
them. It will also help those who have a special interest
in this population to connect and provide an enhanced
level of care,” said Carpenter.
Hampden County Probate & Family Court
Chief Probation Officer John B. Johnson said of the
fair, “This is another way for both courts to
work together in addressing the needs of litigants
and defendants. We often deal with the same individuals
who have cases simultaneously in District and Probate & Family
Johnson added, “We were looking
for an avenue of resources to better serve this population.
This effort is the result of our brainstorming together
to help our clients and show the community that we
“Through the fair and through the
clearinghouse, we will get to know people and are able
to better connect,” Carpenter said.