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Advocates Community Justice programs support people whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in behavioral health problems, such as addiction, mental health conditions, or trauma. Our programs address these underlying causes by connecting participants to appropriate treatment, housing, vocational opportunities, and social services, so that they can lead healthy and productive lives in the community. By reducing repeat offenses, they also help make our communities healthier and safer for everyone.
Co-Response Jail Diversion
Advocates operates jail diversion programs in conjunction with police departments in many Massachusetts communities. Advocates' award-winning model involves extensive collaboration between the police and mental health experts. Our mental health clinicians train and work alongside police officers to help evaluate behavior and determine appropriate treatment. Cross-training between the police and clinicians has led to mutual understanding and respect. Police departments report that the number of ‘repeat players’ has decreased as people are referred to appropriate services. Learn more
Correctional Mental Health
Advocates provides comprehensive mental health services at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction. Our team of social workers, psychiatrists, and nurses provides screening, treatment, medication management, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services for more than 1,400 inmates at the facility.
Behavioral Health Supports for Justice-Involved Individuals (BH-JI)
Our Behavioral Health Supports for Justice-Involved Individuals (BH-JI) program provides comprehensive supports for individuals who are incarcerated, detained, and/or receiving parole or probation supervision in the community. Our trained staff follow a reentry model and communicate daily with individuals for the first month of enrollment. Learn more
Parole Reentry Services
Advocates also provides reentry navigation services to the Parole Board. Reentry navigator staff are embedded in the Parole Region 4 and Region 9 Offices in Framingham and Worcester. Parole reentry navigators use a comprehensive case management model that includes collaboration and coordination with prisons, jails, post-release community supervision, and community-based social and health service providers at the three stages of service delivery: in-reach at the Parole Transitional Treatment Program, community transition, and community integration.
First Offender Driver Alcohol Education
For individuals convicted of driving under the influence for the first time, our Driver Alcohol Education program is designed to reduce the risk of future incidents by helping participants change their behaviors and attitudes. For many, this will mean reducing or eliminating their use of alcohol. The program provides 40 hours of education over a 16-week period and includes an assessment, self-help meetings, and victim impact meetings located at Advocates Community Counseling in Harvard. Referrals are made by the adjudicating district court.
Second Offender Aftercare
This program provides one year of aftercare treatment for individuals convicted of their second driving-under-the-influence offense after they complete a 14-day residential program. The ultimate goal of the program is for participants to take responsibility for their previous behavior and make the changes necessary to cease further incidents. Second Offender Aftercare is available through Advocates Community Counseling in Harvard. Referrals are made by the adjudicating court.
Enter Jessica Atwood, who is the department’s new jail diversion program co-response clinician.
HUDSON/MARLBOROUGH — During a police officer’s shift, he or she may be called to answer a vast array of calls ranging from alleged theft, assault, accidents, or medical crises such as overdoses. Many times, it may also be a call involving domestic abuse or someone experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis.