$1M OK'd for Middlesex effort to divert mental-health cases

Middlesex Sheriff's Office logo

The Middlesex County Restoration Center Commission announced Oct. 5 that it has secured $1 million to fund the fourth year of a four-year pilot program designed to study and establish a restoration center in Middlesex County.  The center would help support ongoing efforts to divert those needing behavioral treatment away from law enforcement in the county, while expanding the capacity for treating behavioral health.

Officials thanked state Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Fourth Middlesex) and state Rep. Ken Gordon (D-21st Middlesex) for supporting the funding, which was included in the state fiscal 2022, budget passed this summer.

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Friedman and Representative Gordon for their incredible leadership in helping the commission secure this critical funding,” said Commission Cochairs Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and Dr. Danna Mauch, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.  “Law enforcement across Middlesex County has long recognized we cannot arrest and incarcerate our way out of the substance use and mental health challenges facing our communities.  This center will provide law enforcement a location to divert individuals in crisis to receive immediate and appropriate behavioral health intervention, as well as function as a facility providing walk-in services for community members.” 

The funding will be used for costs associated with the launch of the center and implementation of services by a behavioral health provider.

“The state has made progress over the last few years to divert individuals with behavioral health conditions away from the criminal justice system and into treatment centers,” Friedman said in an Oct. 5 news release. “This funding will allow the Commonwealth to continue this effort in Middlesex County and bring us one step closer to ending the criminalization of people suffering from an illness.  I’m grateful to Representative Gordon for his collaboration in securing this funding in the budget, and to Sheriff Koutoujian and Danna Mauch for their continued support of this initiative.”

Gordon said: “Incarceration is not a substitute for mental or behavioral health care. The Middlesex County Restoration Center will help individuals experiencing crisis avoid incarceration and access appropriate health care.  The ripple effect of helping these individuals benefits our entire community.  I am deeply grateful to Senator Friedman, Sheriff Koutoujian, and Dr. Mauch for their leadership and tireless dedication to this goal.” 

Oct, 2021:  Registration open for correction-officer exam through Oct. 30


This news announcement was published Tuesday. Oct. 5, 2021.

Your Businesses

Latest comments

John Yurewicz Alewife Brook sewage campaign: Support from Ellen Mass
05 March 2022
The Thorndike Place apartment and pavement construction will re-direct natural underground aquifers ...
Bob Sprague Letters: Emailing Advocate? Copy it here. Roe v. Wade?
17 January 2022
Let the public know with a letter to the editor. For details, see https://www.yourarlington.com/easy...

Housing Authority

Your People

Lt. Dan Kelly

Retired Arlington police lieutenant dies at 58

Lt. Dan Kelly Lt. Dan Kelly, a retired member of the Arlington Police Department, died Tuesday, May 3, after fighting cancer for several years, Chief Julie Flaherty said in a report by YourArlington partner Patch. Kelly, 58, served 32 years as a decorated member of the Arlington Police Department.…
Sulinha Boucher, 2022

Younger than 5: 4th album for Arlington musician

Sulinha Boucher “We Should Be Kind." Listen to it here >> Sulinha Boucher, an Arlington musician for 30 years who is originally from Brazil, has recorded her fourth album for children, “We Should Be Kind." Perhaps you have heard her at the Robbins and Fox libraries, where she has performed for the…
Tony and Jeff Whittemore head for Montreal.

Film premieres pony tale: When 2 boys went to Montreal

Tony and Jeff Whittemore head for Montreal. / 1967 family photo UPDATED April 29: In 1967 two young boys and their beloved pony took off on a monthlong adventure that brought them fame, fun and a wealth of great stories. Tony Whittemore, 11 at the time, and his brother Jeff, 9, drove a pony cart…

FACEBOOK BOX: To see all images, click the PHOTOS link just below


Support YourArlington

An informed Arlington
keeps democracy alive

Donate Button

YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Your contributions are tax-deductible.

Wednesday Newsletter

Your Arts

Your Police, Fire


Ponder Scope

Site Partners

Patch header

Arlington Patch

Arlington Patch has been reporting about the town since 2010. The national site with local outlets…