Springfield Drug Court awarded $2-million grant for substance abuse and mental health programs

Local News

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– The Massachusetts Trial Court has received two federal grants totaling $6 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide mental and behavioral health services within the Boston Municipal Court and the Springfield Drug Court.

The Springfield Drug Court was awarded a $2 million grant over the course of five years for a treatment program called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Criminal Justice (MISSION-CJ). The program will be implemented as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Trial Court, the University of Massachusetts, the Behavioral Health Network (BHN), and state substance use and mental health authorities.

The MISSION model, currently implemented in four other specialty courts, systematically integrates case management, co-occurring disorders treatment, peer support, vocational supports, and trauma-informed care into a single, coordinated service delivery approach. The model was previously developed by UMass Medical School with SAMHSA funding to improve coordination between the court, drug court participants, and community-based treatment providers. The goals of the grant include to reduce criminal recidivism, improve mental health, and reduce substance use disorders.

Over five years, the project will serve a total of 200 Springfield Drug Court participants who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Drug court participants will receive one year of services delivered by a case manager and peer team, who will also link program participants to other community-based services, including medical benefits and medication-assisted treatments. Specialty Courts Administrator Sheila Casey will serve as the Project Director.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, developer of the MISSION model, will provide staff training, project coordination, and perform evaluations. Behavioral Health Network (BHN), an experienced provider, will deliver these new MISSION services within the court.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. The MISSION model has been cited in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. To learn more about SAMHSA, please visit www.samhsa.gov.

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