National Working Group on Juvenile Mental Health & Police/Law Enforcement Collaboration Convened in Cambridge

Focused on Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative


Dr. Jay Burke, Chairman and Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance, hosted a national group of experts on interdisciplinary collaborations aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency and mental health problems in youth to work in conjunction with the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative.Working Group

The group convened at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge to collaborate on best practices related to building, sustaining, and advancing partnerships in the fields of mental health.  The group focused on how healthcare providers and law enforcement could work in conjunction to maximize positive outcomes for at-risk youth.

“The stakeholders in Safety Net, from agencies across the city, came away from the working group with critical information for how we can advance our collaborative to offer innovative and coordinated support and services to the families and young people who need it most in our community," said Dr. James Barrett, Clinical Director of the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative.

“It was a very informative discussion,” said Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas.  “I am very proud of the work we’ve done and continue to do with our partners on developing the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative, and I believe it will help us better deliver services to youth and families in our community.”

National guests in attendance included: Dr. Steve Marans, Yale Child Study Center, Sarah Greene, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Major Eddie Levins, Charlotte, NC Community Policing Project, Deborah Smolover, Director of New Profit, Inc., and Candice Kane, CEO of Cure Violence in Chicago.

Locally, the group is being chaired by two members of the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School faculty, Dr. James Barrett, Clinical Director of the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative, and Dr. William Pollack, Senior Clinical Consultant to the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative.  In addition, Robert C. Haas, Cambridge Police Commissioner, and Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager for Human Services, participated in the working group.

The Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative is a partnership among the Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Schools, and the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs.  This program is designed to foster positive youth development, promote mental health, support safe school and community environments, and limit youth involvement in the juvenile justice system through coordinated prevention, intervention, and diversion services for Cambridge youth and families. 

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