Federal grant awarded to expand Franklin County family drug court

This grant specifically addresses the opioid crisis' impact on the region

GRENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- There are 23 drug courts in Massachusetts, but the one in Greenfield is different.

Since opening last year, the court has been helping families with substance use and mental health disorders.

“I have had many friends that have died from drugs and alcohol,” said Martha Washington of Greenfield. “I myself am a recovering alcoholic and I come to the court for services as well.”

The Massachusetts trial court is receiving just over $2 million federal dollars to expand the Franklin County family drug court. This grant specifically addresses the opioid crisis’ impact on the region.

“Probation officers in court saw those coming through who were losing their housing, jobs, and were being arrested,” said Debra McLaughlin, Coordinator of the Opioid Task force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin.

This grant will allow the court to expand by 300 percent and help people who come through this court struggling with drug abuse.

“This will make a really big difference in our ability to provide services with those struggling with opioid addiction,” said Beth Crawford, First Justice of the Franklin County Probate and Family Court.

Justice Crawford told 22News the grant will help pay for case managers, recovery coaches, a family social worker, and a part time nurse inside the courtroom.

All of these services will be available to families in the juvenile court.