Boston Medical Center’s Criminal Justice Diversion programs include three mental health court sessions, four recovery court sessions, the Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment [BOAT] program, the Boston Police Co-Responder program and the Boston Emergency Medical Services [EMS] alternative response model. Boston Medical Center also employs a substance use clinician who serves all eight Boston Municipal Courts and assists with evaluating court-involved individuals for substance use disorders.

Boston Medical Center also supports improved outcomes for individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system, through partnerships such as one with the Town of Winthrop’s Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery (CLEAR) program and regular participation in mental health trainings for police, court staff, and other first responders.

Contact Info

Liz Plange, LICSW, CCHP
Clinical Director of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs

Programs and Services

Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment Program (BOAT)

Created in partnership with the Massachusetts Trial Court, BOAT is an assisted outpatient treatment program that is the first of its kind in the state of Massachusetts. Under the BOAT program, participants have access to a multidisciplinary treatment team, along with scheduled court monitoring and supervision. People eligible for the program include those with serious mental illness (SMI) and people with SMI and co-occurring substance use disorders who have come to the attention of the Boston Municipal Court. Individuals enrolled in BOAT receive wraparound services through providers at Boston Medical, including peer specialist services, recovery coach services, case management, psychiatry and access to a resource specialist.

Mental Health Court

A pretrial diversionary or post-conviction program that serves individuals involved with the justice system who have mental health and co-occurring substance use concerns. MHC offers treatment and intensive social services to help these individuals achieve recovery, maintain stability, and avoid incarceration. There are currently three mental health court sessions within the Boston Municipal Courts located at the BMC Central, West Roxbury, and Roxbury courts.

Recovery Court

Recovery Court is an alternative to incarceration and integrates substance abuse treatment, sanctions and incentives with case processing to place nonviolent court-involved individuals with substance use disorders in judicially supervised habilitation programs. The recovery court concept is a significant departure from traditional court practice. There are currently four mental health court sessions within the Boston Municipal Courts located at the Dorchester, Charlestown, South Boston and East Boston courts.

Police Co-Responder Program

Co-responders specializing in clinical responses attend to 911 calls for service alongside officers and provide on-site triage and clinical support that expands options for the outcome of a call to police. Co-responders bridge communication between the Boston Police Department and the behavioral health system, helping to divert arrests and connect individuals with needed services to remain safely in the community. Co-response services are currently available city-wide, seven days a week.

Boston EMS Alternative Response Model

The alternative response model is a voluntary program providing a non-ambulance response to low-acuity 911 calls involving behavioral health needs. The responding crew, an EMT and BEST clinician, provide on-scene evaluation, clinical support and treatment recommendations. Additional services can include transport to an alternative destination to include a behavioral health urgent care center or a substance use urgent care center. The unit is available city-wide and can respond to clients of any age.

Our Team

Our Team Includes

  • Psychiatrists
  • Therapists
  • Master's Level Crisis Clinicians
  • Case Managers
  • Resource Specialists
  • Certified Peer Specialists
  • Recovery Coaches