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Transforming the Criminal Justice System with Peer Support

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Event Dates

People with lived experience in the criminal justice system and with behavioral health conditions are being hired more frequently in a variety of criminal justice settings. This is not surprising given that research shows peer support specialists have helped lower recidivism risk for program participants; increases participant engagement with treatment, court obligations, and other services; and increases individual reports of empowerment, motivation, and hopefulness.

This webinar will include representatives from Winthrop, MA’s CLEAR program, which consists of a network of Recovery Coaches, a clinical social worker, the Winthrop Police Department, the Winthrop Public Health Department, and community partners to help individuals through the early recovery process. The discussion will also address how people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can be integrated into similar peer support roles, highlighting ideas and reflections from a peer support specialist with co-occurring mental health and IDD.


  • Sarko Gergerian, Winthrop (MA)’s CLEAR Program
  • Meredith Hurley, Director of Public Health and Clinical Services, Winthrop’s CLEAR Program
  • Rachel Lee, Project Manager, CSG Justice Center
  • Tiffany Lombardo, Project Director, Altarum
  • Chip McHugh, Peer Recovery Coach, Winthrop’s CLEAR Program
  • Leigh Anne McKingsley, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives, The Arc of the United States
  • Mickenzie Simmons, Project Manager, Altarum
  • Jordan Smelley, Mental Health Peer Support Specialist, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (Dallas, TX)

Date Created: August 31, 2023