Search Close Search
Page Menu

Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program

Through a federally funded 5-year service grant, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), in partnership with investigators at UMass and the ENRM VAMC, along with numerous state agencies, developed a court based jail diversion and trauma recovery program with a priority focus on veterans: MISSION-DIRECT VET. UMass has primary responsibility for managing the implementation of this program - a peer-supported, community-based research project that addresses the complex needs of veterans who have entered the criminal justice system. Rather than traditional sentencing, veteran offenders receive integrated co-occurring disorder treatment services known as the MISSION model of care. These services are provided by Case Managers and Peer Support Specialists who provide substance abuse and mental health counseling in individual and group settings, vocational/educational support, links to community programs and services, and other case management and peer support services.

This project also reflects the University’s ability to anticipate needs of the VA and their research gaps and address them quickly and innovatively. MISSION DIRECT VET currently diverts veterans from courts across Worcester and Essex Counties and provides services based at Community HealthLink in Worcester and the Bedford VA. MISSION-DIRECT VET deepens the ties between the University and the surrounding communities, exemplifies the University’s leadership in innovative and timely research projects, and may serve as a model for further integrating the concept of peer support into service delivery at VA.