Through the HEART initiative, the Holyoke District Court seeks to expand access to Substance-abuse treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic
On January 11, 2020, the Holyoke District Court unveiled the “Holyoke Early Access to Recovery Treatment'' (HEART) Initiative. The HEART Initiative seeks to use a “telemedicine approach” to allow individuals with matters before the Court to meet with local healthcare professionals to help treat their substance abuse disorders. The HEART Initiative pairs these individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders with a “recovery coach.” After an initial remote introduction to their recovery coach, individuals participating in the HEART initiative will be able to pursue a wide variety of treatments to help meet their needs. Treatments available under the HEART Initiative range from meeting remotely with clinicians to checking into a treatment facility. This wide range of treatment options allows individuals to get the treatment that is best for them based on their needs and comfort level. Participation in the HEART Initiative is voluntary and anonymous; it will not negatively impact your case in the Holyoke District Court.
By adopting the Heart Initiative, the Holyoke District Court has shown a comitment to combating the problems that often underlie criminal offenses. Here at the Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard, we appreciate that substance-related offenses have complex causes that the legal system is not always best equipped to handle. We applaud the Holyoke District Court in taking this bold step to address the problems underlying many of the cases that come before them.