Jail Diversion Program

JAIL DIVERSION PROGRAM

The Jail Diversion Program (JDP) is a unique partnership between the Ashland Police Department and Riverside Community Care. The JDP Clinician operates under the guidance and clinical supervision of Riverside Community Care’s Mobile Crisis Intervention (MCI) team management but is subject to the day-to-day direction of Ashland Police. The primary goal of the JDP is to re-direct individuals committing non-violent offenses out of the criminal justice system as well as decrease the frequency of individuals with behavioral health conditions being referred to a hospital emergency department.  In order to meet this need, the Clinician is able to:

  • Accompany first-responding officers to calls requiring mental health support or intervention
  • Provide crisis intervention, counseling, assessment, triage, referral, and education to individuals and/or families in the community as requested by the police department
  • Assist with referrals for mental health treatment and support services
  • Provide outreach to community members and follow-up care as deemed appropriate by the police
  • Provide assistance to community members seeking substance abuse treatment 

Kirsten Quern, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst before pursuing a Masters in Social Work from Boston College. She went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from New England Law|Boston’s evening division while working full-time in a Boston Public School. Although Kirsten was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2014, she prefers to use her legal background to be a better clinician by promoting social change as a compassionate problem-solver who respects the inherent worth and dignity of each individual she encounters. Kirsten hopes to facilitate access to resources and opportunities that allow individuals to improve their own circumstances as they see fit. Kirsten’s experience includes coordinating clinical services, providing ongoing assessments, intervening and de-escalating crisis situations, promoting alternative dispute resolution, developing treatment plans in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, facilitating group therapy, and gathering resources. Kirsten can be reached by calling (508) 532-7989.