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Middlesex DA Receives 'Friend Award' in Newton

Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone received an award from Riverside Community Care Monday night at an annual appreciation meeting in Newton.

The was buzzing Monday night for the Riverside Community Care Center's annual appreciation evening, where Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone was honored with an award. 

According to a press statement issued Monday, Leone was the recipient of the Riverside Center's "Friend Award", an honor given to him for his efforts to combat community and family violence.

"I am honored to be recognized by a public service organization that works hard every day to better the lives of citizens in our communities and promotes violence prevention," Leone said in the statement. "Law enforcement is just one tool that we use when it comes to addressing family violence and it is through working together as an engaged community of public and private stakeholders that we are best able to break down the barriers against disclosure that all too often prevent victims of abuse from finding safety."

Dr. Ilana Amrani-Cohen, the director of domestic violence programming for The Guidance Center, nominated Leone for the award.

The Guidance Center, which is affiliated with the Riverside Center, is the lead organization behind the Cambridge Arlington Belmont High Risk Assessment and Response Team, or CAB HART. Leone helped launch CAB HART in 2010. 

A full copy of the press statement is included below:

In appreciation of his efforts to combat community and family violence, DA Gerry Leone will be honored as a recipient of the “Friend Award” from Riverside Community Care at the organization’s Annual Appreciation Evening. 

DA Leone was nominated for the award by Dr. Ilana Amrani-Cohen, the Director of Domestic Violence Programming for The Guidance Center, for his efforts in establishing prevention and intervention program, such as CAB HART, to combat family violence.  The Guidance Center is affiliated with Riverside Community Care and is the lead organization of CAB HART, a high-risk domestic violence assessment team created in partnership with the DA’s Office.  Riverside Community Care is an award winning, non-profit organization that helps build healthy communities by providing over 100 distinct programs that include services for individuals and families in need of mental healthcare, addiction treatment, developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury programs, and early childhood services to 70Massachusetts cities and town. 

“I am honored to be recognized by a public service organization that works hard every day to better the lives of citizens in our communities and promotes violence prevention,” District Attorney Leone said.  “Law enforcement is just one tool that we use when it comes to addressing family violence and it is through working together as an engaged community of public and private stakeholders that we are best able to break down the barriers against disclosure that all too often prevent victims of abuse from finding safety.”

DA Leone helped create Cambridge Arlington Belmont High Risk Assessment and Response Team (CAB HART) in 2010, in collaboration with community partners in Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont, including the Guidance Center, to reduce and prevent domestic violence homicides and hold offenders accountable by refining and tightening existing relationships between police, courts, and community providers in the cities of Cambridge, Arlington, and Belmont.

CAB HART was initiated in response to the escalating number of domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts.  The program provides a multi-disciplinary community based response to domestic violence cases that pose the greatest risk of lethality.  CAB HART was inspired by the success of Newburyport Domestic Violence High Risk Case Response Team that was formed in the wake of a tragic domestic violence homicide in 2002.  Like the Newburyport model, CAB HART emphasizes collaboration and information-sharing between partner agencies to provide thoughtful and proactive interventions to domestic violence victims who are at the most serious risk of harm and their families. Through the use of danger assessment tools, CAB HART works to identify high-risk cases.  On a monthly basis, or on an emergency basis, the team meets to review referred cases and develops and implements crisis intervention plans for victims and their families. 

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