In the Community

In keeping with its mission and vision of promoting safe and healthy communities and advocating for progressive prevention initiatives, NWDA staff from all units actively engage in community outreach  throughout the district. Staff from the Elders and Persons with Disabilities, Consumer Protection, Child Abuse, Victim/Witness Assistance, Community Outreach and Education Units as well as our Drug Diversion and Treatment Program and assistant district attorneys work in partnership with cities and towns across the Northwestern district to address pressing social, legal and safety issues that can lead to crime. NWDA staff work closely with grassroots groups, community coalitions, youth-serving agencies and public and private schools to promote initiatives and offer educational programs and events that foster resilience and vibrant, thriving communities. Read about some of our substance misuse prevention conferences for youth HERE. We also work closely with young people each year to commemorate Law Day. In 2021, Law Day events were virtual with a video on the theme of Advancing the Rule of Law.

Community Outreach and Education

A vital function of this unit is to collaborate with schools, community coalitions and other community groups as a means of facilitating outreach and educational initiatives throughout the district.  Specifically, the Community Outreach and Education Unit is responsive to changing community needs and works to identify and develop programs best suited for distinct communities by working closely with members of those communities. In 2021, the NWDA worked with prevention coalitions in South Hadley, Quaboag Hills, Greenfield, North Quabbin, Northampton and Easthampton to create and distribute a video about the repsonsiblities of parents and caregivers in terms of social host laws and keeping teens safe. 

The District Attorney’s Office is wholeheartedly committed to working in partnership with members of the community to actively seek out opportunities that focus on preventing crime that affect all citizens. Special emphasis is placed on the opioid epidemic, reduction of violence in the schools, promoting a safe and healthy school climate, Internet safety, civil rights and diversity awareness, youth substance abuse prevention and enhancing awareness of crimes against elders.

The unit offers presentations, trainings, guest speakers and consults on an array of issues of concern to the people of the Northwestern District. Click the following links to see posters from some of our educational events and events for schools and youth.

Community Involvement

Citizens Advisory Board

Photo of DA Sullivan with CAB members Karen Brown and Mary Custard
DA Sullivan with longtime CAB members Karen Brown and Mary Custard

The mission of the Citizens Advisory Board is to advise and assist the Office of the Northwestern District Attorney in the areas of community outreach and education, crime prevention, community prosecution, civic engagement, social justice and civil rights issues by learning about office initiatives and serving as NWDA ambassadors in the community.

Educational Programs

District Attorney Sullivan's staff works with schools in the district to create a comprehensive violence prevention plan that could include staff training, curricula and policy review. NWDA staff work with schools, agencies, youth groups, parents, police departments and other community members on issues such as safe and healthy school climates, underage drinking, distracted driving, teen dating violence and social host liability.

The office operates several safe school initiatives such as the Community Based Justice Program and the Safe School Response Team.  These initiatives are coordinated by staff primarily assigned to the Juvenile Justice Unit (JJU).  For more information, please see the JJU page.

Youth Substance Misuse Prevention

The NWDA is actively engaged in educating young people about the dangers and consequences of substance misuse. Along with our community partners, we sponsor regular conferences for students and school teachers, staff and administrators.  Over the years, these conferences have been held at Greenfield Community College, the University of Massachusetts and other locations.