The Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force is funded through the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.
Both agencies continue to research and apply for grants to help combat the drug epidemic that is plaguing our county.
Grants that are currently being utilized by members of the Task Force
Department of Justice’s COSSAP: Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative (DECI) Grant.
In 2022, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s office was awarded a 3-year grant totaling $1,185,239.00 from the Department of Justice’s COSSAP: Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative (DECI) Grant.
DECI, an initiative of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, stems from DA Cruz’s Childhood Trauma Initiative’s Handle with Care Program. This 3 year grant picks up, where our last grant left off. This grant will allow us to sustain and expand our existing DECI program, which we created and established with our Department of Justice’s 2019 Office for Victim’s of Crime (OVC) grant, which ended in 2021.
- Hire a DECI program coordinator
- Create the Plymouth County DEC Alliance
- Create the Massachusetts State Alliance- DA Tim Cruz, & DA Joe Early, Co-Chair, Sheriff Joe McDonald, Vice Chair
- Provide direct services and advocacy to drug endangered children within Plymouth County
- Raise awareness for agencies that come into contact with drug endangered children
- Assist agencies in identifying drug endangered children
- Train police and educators on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
- Trainings and resources for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- United Way Family Center
- Plymouth County Outreach (PCO)
- Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI)
- Balance 4 Kids
- Calmer Choice
- To the Moon & Back
Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative
Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s Office was awarded a 3-year grant totaling $541,300 from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The grant was created to address an urgent gap in crime victim services related to the opioid epidemic and to expand upon existing, or to establish new programs to provide services to youth who are victimized as a result of the opioid crisis.
District Attorney Cruz through the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force will use these critical funds to train law enforcement, schools, and community partners on identifying drug endangered children and developing the proper trauma sensitive response.
In addition, District Attorney Cruz will partner with The Family Center at Community Connections of Brockton, a program of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County.
- To enhance the capacity of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force to address drug endangered children in Plymouth County.
Increase awareness about drug endangered children in Plymouth County
- Provide direct services and advocacy to Plymouth County drug endangered children.
United Way of Greater Plymouth County’s Family Center:
The Family Center will utilize a portion of these grant funds to hire a Clinical Director to work directly with drug endangered children.
- The Clinical Director will work alongside Plymouth County Outreach (PCO), which is an initiative of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force’s, Public Safety Subcommittee.
- PCO is a collaboration of 28 police departments in Plymouth County dedicated to providing immediate outreach to overdose victims.
Plymouth County DECI was created to bring services and support to families touched by the opioid crisis by providing services directly to the child and family, and by helping to navigate complex systems.
Plymouth County DECI will bring awareness and training to agencies that encounter drug-endangered children and will assist agencies to identify and engage drug-endangered children.
By enhancing the response of our police departments and schools with trauma-informed training and assisting individual families, Plymouth County DECI is helping children become more resilient to break the cycle of addiction.
For more information or to make a referral, contact Kati Mapa, DEC Clinical Advocate: (781) 563-4000; firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts State Legislature Drug Diversion and Education Grant
The MDAA has awarded each District Attorney’s Office across the Commonwealth $45,000.00 for the implementation and administration of drug diversion programs and for education programs for students to prevent the use of heroin. District Attorney Tim Cruz has earmarked this funding to be utilized by the Plymouth County Drug Task Force and its members, to divert SUDs individuals away from the criminal justice system before an arrest is warranted, and into treatment.
- Hire DataVis to pilot 7 police departments in Plymouth County, utilizing a tool in IMC called Special Studies. This tool ensures that each department is capturing all of Plymouth County Outreach CIMS data fields directly from the scene and/or from Dispatch, with the goal to export that data automatically from IMC into the KRA CIMS or other data sites through DataVis and Special Studies. This software easily links to existing systems and databases within agencies and departments.
2017 & 2018
- The continuation and enhancement of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force Database
- Hosted a series of Recovery Coach Academy Workshops in collaboration with the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for Recovery Coaches and Police Officers.
- Create the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force Database
- Plymouth County Speaks Up Conference
- Hazelden Conference- Toolkit for Community Action
Executive Office of Public Safety- Youth Summer Program
- $15,480 for the 2019 Plymouth County Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education Summer Program
- $15480 for the 2018 Plymouth County Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education Summer Program
Massachusetts AG Youth Opioid Prevention Grant
- $9,500 over 2-years
In 2017, District Attorney Cruz was awarded the Youth Opioid Prevention Grant, a program funded by the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General. District Attorney Cruz partnered with the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) and the Massachusetts Teachers Associate (MTA) to provide training and technical assistance to pilot school districts interested in incorporating the Helping Traumatized Children Learn model.
According to Harvard Law School Professor Martha Minow, “Helping Traumatized Children Learn marks a major milestone in child advocacy. Based on evidence from brain research, child development, and actual classrooms, here is a road map for parents, schools, administrators, and policy makers that shows concrete and feasible steps for making schools the life raft for children who otherwise may be misunderstood and abandoned by the community.” As Dr. Felitti demonstrates with his ACEs research, these are the kids, abandoned with untreated ACEs, which are at the greatest risk for addiction.
About the Grant-Funded Helping Traumatized and Drug-Endangered Children Learn Trainings:
Some of the most difficult learning and behavior problems that students present at school can be linked to their exposure to adverse childhood experiences (trauma). Studies demonstrate that more children than we ever imagined are coming to school having been exposed to a host of overwhelming experiences from violence in the home or in the community, to abuse, neglect, or parental addiction to substances, to homelessness, war or natural disaster.
Research now shows that trauma from exposure to these adverse childhood experiences can have a neurobiological impact on children that undermines their ability to learn, form relationships, and self regulate their behavior in the classroom and in the community.
These school training presentations will share the work of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), a collaboration of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School.
Based on TLPI’s publications, Helping Traumatized Children Learn and Creating and Advocating for Trauma Sensitive Schools, the presentation will cover the prevalence of trauma, its neurobiological impacts on student learning, behavior and relationships at school, and the need for safe and supportive, trauma sensitive schools that help all students feel safe to learn.
The presentation will also describe the Attributes and Framework that can guide schools in creating the school wide infrastructure needed to provide a safe and supportive, trauma sensitive learning environment for all students. Along with District Attorney Cruz, the presenter will be Joel Ristuccia, Director of Training for TLPI, a certified School Psychologist with more than 30 years of experience working in the public schools, and co-author of both volumes of Helping Traumatized Children Learn.
Further details about this learning opportunity:
Schools have found it most effective as they build awareness among staff about the impact of trauma on learning to have not only all educators and administrators participate in the training, but also all adults in the building, including paraprofessionals, school resource officers, office staff, custodians, lunch personnel and bus drivers, etc., whenever possible.
For those schools that are selected, the 3-hour presentation will be provided at no cost.
The school-wide presentation will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time before April 2019. Applicants will be responsible for arranging for an appropriate meeting space with standard audio visual equipment.
There will be a brief survey, consisting of only 3 questions that all attendees will complete immediately after the presentation. These responses will be shared with all participants and could help inform the school’s next steps.
Given that trauma-sensitive schools require the support of and alignment with community efforts, there will also be a learning opportunity offered to your local police department by the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force to develop an understanding of the impact of trauma on children, as part of this effort.
- Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District
- Brockton Public Schools
- East Bridgewater Public Schools
- Pembroke Public Schools
- Plymouth Public Schools
- Silver-Lake Regional School District
- Wareham Public Schools
- Whitman-Hanson Regional School District
EOPPS JAG Grant
The goals of this grant is to enhance the capacity of the county to address:
- Opioid Abuse
- Reduce the Opioid Demand
- Reduce the Opioid Supply
- Utilize Existing Treatment Services
This grant will help to fund the task force with:
- Trainings for law enforcement and prosecutors
- placing specialized focus on prosecuting opioid, heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil cases
- The production of this website to outline the task force efforts and offer resources and information to the residents of Plymouth County
Drug Free Communities Grant (DFC) Part II
Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s Office received the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant Part II in October 2014. This 5-year grant, totaling $625,000 will fund and support the Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative. The philosophy remains, “local problems require local solutions”.
DFC grantees involve a cross-section of the communities they serve, with active participation from youth, parents, schools, businesses, media, local government, law enforcement, and other local agencies.
The DFC Program, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the only Federal drug prevention program that provides funding directly to local communities.