What is The Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment Program?

BOAT: Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment Program logo

The Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment Program (BOAT) is a mental health treatment program created in partnership between the Boston Municipal Court and Boston Medical Center. The program provides intensive social, mental health, and substance use disorder services designed to help court-involved clients maintain stability, achieve recovery within the community, and avoid hospitalization and incarceration.

Thanks to a grant from SAMHSA, we are able to closely monitor treatment outcomes with consistent court oversight and strong clinical and social services support. Our goals are to eliminate barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness, remove the stigma associated with mental health diagnoses and work towards decriminalizing mental illness in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

BOAT is tailored for clients who have a major mental illness and have a pending criminal matter within the Boston Municipal Court system, or are a graduate of one of the three mental health sessions held in the Central, Roxbury and West Roxbury divisions.

Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness and is involved with Boston Municipal Court, please call 617.414.1391 or email [email protected] for more information on how to refer.

How can I become a client?

The BOAT Program is available to clients who fall into one of the following three categories: open criminal matters, probation cases, and graduates of mental health court. BOAT is ideal for clients struggling with serious mental illness (SMI),  co-occurring substance use disorders, or clients frequently caught in a “revolving door” of repeated psychiatric hospitalizations,  and/or arrests leading to detention in jails and prisons.

Contact Us


    Our Team

    Judge Kathleen Coffey, Project Director
    Judge Kathleen Coffey is the First Justice of the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Since 2014, she has served as the Director of Specialty Courts. Working with community leaders and justice partners, she developed and continues to oversee the Homeless Court at the Pine Street Inn and the three mental health courts within the City of Boston. She is a member of the Supreme Judicial Court's Working Group on Substance Use and Mental Health in addition to the Trial Court's Community Resource Initiative. As the Project Director for the B.O.A.T. Program. Judge Coffey is eager to build upon the long standing partnership the Court has held with Boston Medical Center and to expand access to recovery services and mental health treatment to court involved individuals. She is an avid swimmer which enables her to resolve many issues and challenges while underwater.

    Leila Spencer, LMHC, Program Manager
    Leila Spencer is a licensed mental health counselor with master degrees in both Mental Health Counseling and Crime and Justice Studies. She has forensic experience in correctional and court settings, and presently oversees the Boston Mental Health Courts, in addition to being Program Manager for B.O.A.T.

    Ellie Reagan, BS, Program Coordinator
    Ellie is a program coordinator with BOAT. She is passionate about discovering new mental health interventions at the intersection of clinical work and research. She’s excited for a future focused on helping young adults experiencing early psychosis and limiting barriers to early care. In her free time you might find her on the Charles sailing.

    Lauren Backhaus, LCSW, Case Manager
    Lauren Backhaus, LCSW is a BOAT Case Manager who is focused on helping clients navigate the criminal justice and mental health systems. In her free time she enjoys traveling and staying active.

    Daisy Perez, MPH, Research Program Manager
    Daisy Perez is the Research Program Manager for the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center and is also the Program Evaluator for the Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment (BOAT) Program. She holds a Master of Public Health degree in Healthcare Management and is passionate about behavioral health care delivery and expanding behavioral health services and programs within the department. In her free time she enjoys going on hikes and staying active.

    Hannah Brown, MD, Psychiatrist
    Dr. Hannah Brown is an adult psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center and is the lead psychiatrist of the Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment (BOAT) program. She currently treats mainly patients with psychosis and has both clinical and research interests in first episode care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and running; she hopes to eventually train for a marathon again.

    Esteban Toledo, MD, Psychiatrist
    Dr. Esteban Toledo-Carrion is an adult and addiction psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center. He currently treats a variety of patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. He is also invested in providing care to Latinx patients and his interests include transcultural psychiatry and medical education. In his spare time he likes to travel.

    Tithi D. Baul, MPH, Biostatistician
    Tithi Baul is a biostatistician in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center. She graduated from University of California, San Diego with her Bachelors of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience and holds a Master of Public Health degree in Biostatistics from Boston University. She is interested in understanding the social determinants of mental health among immigrants and refugees. She is committed to building strategies to promote mental health equity. Outside of work, Tithi enjoys spending time outdoors and plein air watercolor painting.

    Casey Hoffman, LMHC, Therapist
    BCasey Hoffman is a licensed mental health counselor who provides therapy to clients engaged in the BOAT program. She has experience working in correctional health care and is passionate about providing mental health treatment to those involved in the criminal justice system. In her free time, you can find her on her yoga mat or traveling.

    Kerrie Felton, BS, Resource Specialist
    Kerrie is the Resource Specialist for the BOAT program, her goal is to assist and support clients that may be experiencing barriers in achieving their goals in a variety of areas such as housing goals and planning, educational advancement, career development and employment search support. Kerrie has Bachelor degree in Business Management, in her free time enjoys traveling, walking and staying active.

    Reine Lederer, Research Program Student
    Reine Lederer is a Research Program Student with BOAT through Northeastern University’s undergraduate Co-op Program. Although she is new to research, she has years of direct care experience in behavioral health with adolescents with physical and developmental disabilities. She is passionate about holistic mental health treatment (particularly LGBTQ+ and immigrant populations), intercultural engagement, and social justice. In her free time she enjoys hiking, photography, and caring for her houseplants.

    Zhaolin (Helen) Li, Research Program Student
    Zhaolin (Helen) Li is a third-year coop student at Northeastern University. She has a major in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Data Science. Her interests in clinical psychology and brain functions research lead her to pursue a future career as a therapist. She is a research program student on the BOAT team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and travels around the world.

    Patient Resources

    BOAT Services

    Our multi-disciplinary team approach includes case managers, psychiatrists, social workers, a certified peer specialist, resource specialist, and a recovery coach. Our team recognizes the unique and complex nature of serious mental illness and the importance of treatment for these individuals. The BOAT Program seeks to provide a fully integrated continuum of wraparound services.