The Massachusetts Trial Court announced this week that it has
been awarded a five-year federal grant totaling $2.1 million to
address the impact of opioid, other substance use, and co-occurring
disorders on families in rural western Massachusetts.
"This collaboration between the Massachusetts Trial Court, the
Franklin Division of the Probate and Family Court's Family Drug
Court, the Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court, University of
Massachusetts Medical School, the Center of Excellence for
Specialty Courts, state substance use and mental health
authorities, and our local treatment partners, will become a model
for providing recovery services in a region that greatly needs it,"
said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey.
The grant will be used to expand the current efforts of the
Franklin County Probate and Family Court's Family Drug Court, which
began in June 2017 and is the first of its kind in
Massachusetts. The Franklin County Family Drug Court has served 18
recovering parents, 26 children and 23 caregivers since it opened
in the summer of 2016. The grant from the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will enable the
Family Drug Court to expand service to an additional 175 parents,
240 children and 180 caregivers through the implementation of a
robust and comprehensive array of evidence-based substance use
disorder treatment and services with community based resources that
support court-involved families based on that family's needs.
"On a daily basis in my courtroom, I see the devastating impact of
substance use upon parents, their children, and other family
members," said Franklin County Probate and Family Court First
Justice Beth A. Crawford, who presides over the Family Drug Court.
"This infusion of resources will allow us to develop a responsive
trauma-informed system of care that will offer hope and help as
families pursue their recovery."
Franklin County spans 725 miles with a population of 83,811 has
been hard hit by the opiate crisis and has struggled to meet the
substance use and mental health needs of its residents.
"Lower population density in this rural region makes it more
difficult for residents to receive support services including
substance use disorder treatment, emergency services, public
transportation, education, child care and health and mental health
care," said Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem. "The
Franklin Family Drug Court expansion will have a huge impact on
families in western Massachusetts."
The MISSION model, Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through
Systems Integration, Outreach and Networking-Criminal Justice
(MISSION-CJ), is an evidence-based treatment model that has been
successfully tested in other projects in Massachusetts, including
veterans' treatment courts in Boston and Dedham in 2014 and 2015,
and Drug Courts in Quincy and Barnstable District Courts in 2015,
2016 and 2017. The MISSION treatment model targets reduced
recidivism and homelessness, improved mental health support,
substance use recovery and increased steady employment for those
participating in the Trial Court's current MISSION-based programs.
"The MISSION model exemplifies the effectiveness of a coordinated,
evidence-based team approach to treat people in crisis and prepare
them to succeed as contributing members of society," said UMass
Medical Professor of Psychiatry Dr. David Smelson, who developed
the MISSION model.