Improving lives and outcomes through innovation, evidence, and equity

The Massachusetts Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts, an initiative of the Executive Office of the Massachusetts Trial Court, aims to bring innovative, evidence-based, and equitable interventions to Specialty Courts and related settings.

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Resources for Your Work

In the Spotlight

Brian Daly

Brian Daly

Brian Daly, MD

On May 6, 2024, from 1-2 pm, Dr. Brian Daly will provide a framework and clearer understanding of the often confusing field of psychiatry and mental illness and health. This training will focus on diagnoses and associated symptoms; treatments, including medications and psychotherapy options; course of illness and prognoses; and common overlap with the legal system.

To register for the training, visit our events page or click here
To learn more about your trainer, you can click here

Juvenile Family Treatment Court

On March 31, 2024, the Massachusetts Trial Court launched Family Treatment Court sessions in Juvenile Court. Family Treatment Courts are non-adversarial, collaborative court sessions working with child protective services, substance use and mental health treatment professionals, and community partners to coordinate services with the goals of ensuring that children have safe, nurturing, and permanent homes, parents achieve stable recovery, and that each family member receives needed services and support.  
Read the full article here
Read the press release here

Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem

 Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem | Photo Credit:

Pamerson O. Ifill

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Probation Service

Commissioner Pamerson O. Ifill

Pamerson O. Ifill was appointed to serve as the Commissioner of Probation for Massachusetts and began a five-year term of office on November 27, 2023. Commissioner Ifill succeeds Commissioner Edward Dolan who was appointed in 2013 and retired in 2023.
Commissioner Ifill previously served from 2019 to 2023 as the Deputy Commissioner of Pretrial Services for the Massachusetts Probation Service. His past service also includes roles as  Regional Supervisor of Probation Services, Chief Probation Officer for Suffolk Superior Court, Regional Program Manager for the Office of Community Corrections, and Juvenile Court Probation Officer in Barnstable/Plymouth Counties. Commissioner Ifill is an adjunct professor at Suffolk University and Stonehill College.
Read the full press release here.

Dara Drawbridge & Jinnia Baiye

2024 Shannon Community Safety Initiative’s Local Action Research Partnership

Dr. Dara Drawbridge and Jinnia Baiye are funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s FY24 Shannon Community Safety Initiative to continue their work with Fitchburg, Gardner, and Leominster’s Tri-City Partnership as the Local Action Research Partner. The award provides funding to support the partnership in prevention and intervention efforts that address gangs and youth violence. In FY24, Dara and Jinnia will be joined by Alix Barry. The team will lead the initial piloting of the first-ever Tri-City Partnership’s Young Adult Advisory Board. The Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB) will be comprised of a diverse group of young people between the ages of 18- 24 years who currently or previously lived in Fitchburg, Gardner, and Leominster areas and may have participated in the Tri-City Partnership’s Shannon-funded programming. The YAAB’s mission is to build an inclusive space where young people have an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and provide input on the programmatic activities, policies, and strategies of the Tri-City Partnership and the wider communities in which they live.

Read more about the Shannon Community Safety Initiative here.

Abigail M. Judge, Ph.D.

Dara Drawbridge

Katie Bryce

Jinnia Baiye

Amy Farrell, Ph.D.

Alix Barry

Ekaterina Pivovarova & Joseph Sawicki

Drs. Ekaterina Pivovarova and Joseph Sawicki were guests on The Regimen podcast.  The Regimen podcast focuses on how pharmacists and pharmacy students can improve population health, health equity, and patient care through advocacy and education.  They were discussing their work with Massachusetts Specialty Courts and community corrections.

Listen here to the podcast episode.

Abigail M. Judge, Ph.D.

Ekaterina Pivovarova

Abigail M. Judge, Ph.D.

Joseph Sawicki

Training for Recovery & Engagement in
Addiction Treatment (T.R.E.A.T) Initiative

DPH and Trial Court Seals

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS), in collaboration with its partners, the Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court, the New England Association of Recovery Court Professionals, AdCare Educational Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine received funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance under its Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant program, to fund a three-year training and technical assistance (TTA) initiative, the Recovery and Veterans Court TREAT Initiative – “Training for Recovery & Engagement in Addiction Treatment.”

The goal of this initiative is to strengthen the capacity of court clinicians and treatment providers working with specialty courts, with a focus on Massachusetts Adult Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts.

Interested in learning more?