Sunday, August 03, 2014

Nine New Specialty Courts Added to the Massachusetts Trial Court

In a Press Release issued on July 30, 2014, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey and Court Administrator Harry Spence announced that the Trial Court will add nine specialty court sessions across Massachusetts.  In the recently approved FY2015 state budget, $3 million was designated for these specialty courts.

The new specialty courts include five drug courts, two mental health courts and two veterans treatment court sessions.  See press release for the locations of sessions. "The implementation schedule of these additional sessions will vary by location, as planning and training occurs."

“Expanding specialty courts across the Commonwealth is a key initiative outlined in the Trial Court’s strategic plan,” said Chief Justice Carey. “Offering these new court sessions will help the Court achieve its vision of doubling the number of specialty courts in Massachusetts in the next three years. The specialized sessions will help us establish state-wide alternatives to incarceration while improving public safety. Expanding our specialty courts from 26 to 35 sessions will enable more at-risk youth and adults to get access to the resources they urgently need.”

“The current opiate crisis is just one example of why the increase in state funding for specialty courts comes at an especially critical time for the Commonwealth,” said Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence. “This program provides evidence-based models to help those with substance use disorders, mental illnesses, and other related issues become productive, healthy members of our community.”

For additional information, please visit the Massachusetts Judicial Branch website on "Specialty Courts."