Resources for Navigating the Legal System
cover page - Road Map through the Criminal Justice System for People with Mental Health Symptoms in Massachusetts (2020 update)
Road Map through the Criminal Justice System for People with Mental Health Symptoms in Massachusetts (2020 update)

This guide is for people dealing with mental health symptoms, their families, and other supporters. Far too often mental health symptoms are interpreted as criminal behavior. The Roadmap explains the essentials of the criminal justice system, to help you find a way out or to treatment within. Updated in June 2020.

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Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee

Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) works to protect the rights of people diagnosed with mental health conditions. They provide information, advice, and direct representation on a range of issues related to mental health.

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Disability Law Center

The Disability Law Center provides legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.

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Health Law Advocates

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a public interest law firm whose mission is to provide free legal representation to people with limited income who are experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services.

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Fair Employment Project

The Fair Employment Project counsels Massachusetts workers with limited income about their rights on the job and the legal process.

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Committee for Public Counsel Services

Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is the state’s public defender’s office. They provide representation to people with limited income in criminal, mental health commitment, guardianship, child welfare, and other legal matters.

Mass Legal Service

Mass Legal Services offers resources and information about legal issues facing Massachusetts residents. It can help people with limited income find free legal representation.

Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service

Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service helps people find representation for any legal matter they are facing.

Looking for other legal resources?

Contact the NAMI Mass COMPASS Helpline. COMPASS is available Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Call us at 617-704-6264 or email us at compass@namimass.org.

Learn more about the NAMI Mass COMPASS Helpline.