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Chicopee and Holyoke Access to Treatment and Services (CHATS) Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)

On behalf of the Holyoke and Chicopee District Courts of
Massachusetts, the Administrative Office of the Trial Court
(AOTC) and key stakeholders are seeking funding to support a
project entitled Chicopee and Holyoke Access to Treatment and
Services (CHATS). The purpose of the CHATS project is to
strengthen the ability of the Holyoke and Chicopee District
Courts to serve court-involved individuals with opioid use
disorder through timely and culturally sensitive treatment and
supportive recovery services that begin during pretrial criminal
justice processing. Through a proposed partnership with
Gandara Center as a culturally specific organization, the
CHATS project will assist court-involved individuals with
opioid use disorder through the services of a recovery coach
and a recovery support coordinator, who will be immediately
available at the courthouses to link justice-involved individuals
to community-based providers for medications for opioid use
disorder (MOUD) and other health and social services pretrial.
The need to expand opportunities for court-involved individuals
to receive treatment early in the criminal justice process was
recognized in the Criminal Reform Act of 2018. However,
these statutory amendments depend upon the early assessment
of an opioid use disorder and needs assessments that courts do
not have the ability or the resources to perform and individuals
cannot readily access on their own.
The project goals include implementing a peer recovery support
system for at least 150 individuals, reducing recidivism rates for
program participants by 20 percent, and building infrastructure
for a recovery-rich community that meets the needs of courtinvolved
Hispanic community members. University of
Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health
Sciences will serve as the evaluator, facilitating data collection
regarding participation and engagement, outcomes, and the
development of tools to support replication. The CHATS
project will promote positive outcomes and improve public
safety by reducing recidivism. With the development of
effective and sustainable practices and collaborations, this
project will fill a much-needed service gap in the Holyoke and
Chicopee communities.

Date Created: September 27, 2023