Center of Excellence Leadership

Chief Justice Paula M. Carey was appointed Chief Justice of the Trial Court in July 2013 by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She had served as the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court since October 2007. Before that, she was appointed an Associate Justice of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court in 2001. Chief Justice Carey was instrumental in the development, adoption and implementation of the state’s Uniform Probate Code. She has chaired committees on child support guidelines, time standards, and staffing models. She currently is a member of the Governor's Opioid Task Force. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Chief Justice Carey was a partner in the firm of Carey & Mooney, PC, where she specialized in domestic relations matters. She has lectured and authored material for numerous publications and educational programs in the area of domestic relations. Chief Justice Carey has a J.D. from the New England School of Law.  Message from Chief Carey

The Honorable Kathleen Coffey is the Director of Specialty Courts for the Boston Municipal Court, and a member of the Trial Court’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Advisory Board for the Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts. Judge Coffey was appointed as an Associate Justice in 1993. Since 1997, she has served as the First Justice of the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Prior to that, Judge Coffey was an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County and worked in several private law firms. She has served as a member of the faculty at Suffolk University Law School and the adjunct faculty at Lasell College. Judge Coffey is a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart and Boston College Law School.

The Honorable Mary Hogan Sullivan is the Director of Specialty Courts for the District Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court. She established the Norfolk County Veterans Treatment Court, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. Judge Sullivan was appointed to the bench in 2001. She has presided in District Courts in Norfolk, Suffolk, Bristol, Plymouth and Essex Counties. She has served as the drug court judge in the Dorchester and Quincy Courts, and currently presides in the Norfolk County Veteran’s Court. Prior to her judicial appointment, she was a prosecutor in Suffolk County, a trial attorney for the Massachusetts Defenders Committee and maintained a private law practice. Judge Sullivan is a graduate of National Law Center, George Washington University and Trinity College.

Sheila Casey, Esq. is the Specialty Courts Administrator for the Massachusetts Trial Court. She leads the development and implementation of educational programs and training for personnel involved in Specialty Courts. Ms. Casey is also responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of standardized operating, practices, and procedures for all Specialty Courts within the Trial Court. She has over 25 years of experience in the delivery of legal services to low income communities. Ms. Casey has served in various roles including Executive Director of Neighborhood Legal Services in Lawrence and Lynn, Massachusetts, where she managed the flow of legal work, fiscal operations, development, human resources and administration for more than 20 staff. A graduate from Western New England University School of Law, where she received a J.D., Ms. Casey also holds a Master in Public Administration, a B.A. in Spanish, and an Interpreter’s Certificate in Spanish, all from UMass/Amherst.

Ira Packer, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He has over 35 years of experience as a forensic psychologist, administrator, and academic. Before serving as Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Mental Health for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), Dr. Packer directed court clinic and jail mental health services in Western Massachusetts. He was instrumental in the development of the court clinic system in Western Massachusetts, employing an innovative model in which mental health professionals were fully integrated into the court system, working closely with judges, attorneys, probation officers, and community agencies to provide both mental health and substance abuse services.

David Smelson, Psy.D., is Professor and Vice-Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He also holds a joint position at the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center as the director of the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans and the Translational Research in Mental Health programs. Dr. Smelson has consistently received federal, state, and foundation funding to carry out original research and conduct program evaluations for over 20 years. Specifically, Dr. Smelson has expertise in primary data collection and secondary data analysis, and in the use of complex data analytic techniques, including implementation of science methodologies. Additionally, he is familiar with current program evaluation practices and has a great deal of experience working with diverse and underrepresented populations, including individuals involved with criminal justice system, the chronically homeless, and veteran populations. Dr. Smelson also has extensive experience developing and studying behavioral therapy interventions among these populations. He developed the Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking (MISSION) program, a wraparound services treatment model designed to meet the needs of underserved populations with high rates of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Gina Vincent, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UMMS, is Co-Director of the Law & Psychiatry Program (with Dr. Ira Packer), and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research in the Systems & Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Vincent has developed an extensive background in training forensic clinicians, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, administrators, and probation officers in use of risk assessment tools; and in providing technical assistance to juvenile justice agencies for implementing screening and assessment tools. In her capacity as co-director of the National Youth Screening and Assessment Project (NYSAP) she has consulted with juvenile justice systems and agencies around the U.S. by providing training and technical assistance to diverse groups of individuals around screening and assessment, including judges, attorneys, administrators, and the staff members who will actually complete the tools. She is the leading author of the widely disseminated Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation, a “how-to” guide for agencies to implement risk assessment and screening tools informed by research and consensus among many experts.

Albert J. Grudzinskas, Jr., J.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry UMMS,is an attorney with over 35 years of experience researching and developing legal briefings as the coordinator of legal studies at the Center for Mental Health Services Research and the Forensic Research and Training Program of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Psychiatry. He has presented annually to the Massachusetts DMH Forensic Division for the last 20 years, developed and delivered the annual DMH legal updates sessions at the law and psychiatry seminars and at annual DMH conferences and has developed and delivered the weekly landmark cases seminar to the DMH-sponsored Forensic Research and Training Post-Doctoral and Post-Residency Fellowship program. In addition, he has taught mental health law, criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, and courses in criminal mind and behavior at the University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law, New England School of Law, the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, and Roger Williams University.

In addition to his academic activities, Mr. Grudzinskas worked with the Hon. Maurice Richardson (Retired) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Diversion and Integration Project (MMHDIP), to develop the Worcester Diversion Consortium, and the Boston Diversion Consortium. As part of this consultation, he provided technical assistance in the development of the Boston Municipal Court Mental Health Session. Working with a UMMS Law and Psychiatry Postdoctoral fellow Kerri Eudy, Ph.D., he consulted on development of the data-gathering protocol for Boston Medical Center (BMC) Mental Health Session.

Dara Drawbridge, Ph.D., is Instructor of Psychiatry in the Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts, within the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Drawbridge’s research has focused on corrections, risk assessment, and evidence-based case management. Dr. Drawbridge has coordinated several research projects of justice-related topics, including assessment of offender reentry programs, the impact of reentry program participation on recidivism, a multi-site drug court evaluation, and the fidelity of evidence-based practices at community correction centers. Dr. Drawbridge is currently the co-investigator of a project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) that examines the long-term sustainability and cost-effectiveness of implementing risk assessment tools and treatment matching within probation.

Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio, Ph.D., is Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and the Director of the Medical Outcomes Center at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Rodriguez-Monguio has a strong background in health economics, with specific training and expertise in the area of health economics and outcomes research, health care services, and program evaluation (e.g. cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit analysis). She also has extensive experience in the design and implementation of large-scale research projects; development of research protocols; grant submissions and successful project administration through multidisciplinary collaborations; data collection, management, and analysis; costs and outcomes evaluation; and peer-reviewed publication. She will support the Evaluation and Research Core by providing technical assistance in designing economic evaluation procedures, performing and overseeing the costs, and analyzing cost-effectiveness of specialty court treatments and recovery support services. She has been awarded multiple grants and has published widely.

Ekaterina Pivovarova, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Pivovarova’s research focuses on 1) treatment of addiction in criminal justice populations and 2) bioethics of research. She is the recipient of the UMMS Center for Clinical and Translational Science Career Mentorship Award (KL2) for which she studies how health related quality of life impacts retention in drug treatment courts. She has received a variety of institutional and national awards, which have further supported her work with individuals in the criminal justice system with mental health and substance use disorders, and has published and presented her findings nationally in professional and academic settings. Dr. Pivovarova is also a trainee in the Lifespan/Brown University Criminal Justice Training Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities (NIDA R25DA037190).