Published: February 28, 2023
Categories: Press Release
Bridgewell to Honor Former Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett at Imagine the Possibilities Gala
By Presenting this Honor, Bridgewell Recognizes Jonathan Blodgett’s Long-Standing Drug Treatment and Recovery Efforts
PEABODY, Mass., February 28, 2023 – Bridgewell, a nonprofit social and human services organization serving more than 6,300 people across northeastern Massachusetts, announced today that former Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett has been named as the Honoree for this year’s Imagine the Possibilities Gala.
As Essex County District Attorney, Jonathan Blodgett partnered with Bridgewell for more than 15 years in offering drug treatment to non-violent offenders in the community. The Drug Diversion Program began in 2007 and was initially offered to people aged 17-26 in the Lynn and Newburyport District Courts. Today, the program is available to people of all ages across each of the eight Essex County district courts. The program has also been expanded to offer recovery coaching, housing and employment assistance, and a peer support group. In addition, former DA Blodgett worked with Bridgewell and other partners to establish a ground-breaking after school program for middle school students whose parents suffer from addiction in 2016. Learn more about the Essex County Drug Diversion Program here.
The Imagine the Possibilities Gala provides vital financial support to fuel Bridgewell’s mission. The Gala’s dedicated sponsors and supporters allow Bridgewell to continue providing critical services to those in need in communities across northeastern Massachusetts.
“Bridgewell is thrilled to honor Jonathan Blodgett with our Visionary Leadership Award, for his progressive leadership in confronting the challenge of addiction and recovery in the region during his tenure as District Attorney,” said Bridgewell President and CEO Christopher Tuttle. “Bridgewell has truly appreciated its partnership with DA Blodgett and his team over the past 15 years, and we are committed to continuing this important work with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office for years to come.”
Jonathan Blodgett was first elected as Essex County District Attorney in 2002 and served for a total of five terms before his retirement in 2022. During his time in office, Blodgett was a leader in addressing community issues such as the opiate epidemic, domestic violence, and gun violence, which he achieved through prosecution, diversion, and partnerships with schools, law enforcement, and other community leaders. As part of his innovative approach to combat crime, he instituted an adult drug diversion program which he put in place at each of Essex County’s district courts, as well as expanded juvenile and youthful diversion programs. He also increased the use of High-Risk Assessment Teams to better protect victims of domestic violence and hold persecutors of domestic violence accountable.
In 2022, Mr. Blodgett was named Prosecutor of the Year by the National District Attorneys Association for his commitment to protecting victim’s rights and providing diversion and treatment programs for non-violent offenders. Also in 2022, he received the Addiction Policy Forum’s lifetime achievement award, which recognizes an individual for their leadership and innovative programs to address addiction. He served as President of the National District Attorneys Association from 2018-2019, has served on the Board and the executive committee of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and on the Board of the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance from 2005 to his retirement in 2023. Mr. Blodgett currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Addiction Policy Forum. He is a graduate of Peabody High School, Princeton University, and Suffolk Law School.
“As District Attorney, it was important to me to help people impacted by the disease of addiction through programs and services, as an alternative to incarceration when appropriate,” said Blodgett. “I thank the people at Bridgewell who were tremendous partners in two effective programs that we created.”
Bridgewell’s Imagine the Possibilities Gala will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. The Gala will be emceed by WCVB NewsCenter 5’s Katie Thompson. To purchase tickets for the Gala, visit here. To view sponsorship opportunities, visit here.
Bridgewell is a nonprofit social and human services organization dedicated to strengthening communities. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Bridgewell empowers people with disabilities, and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed, and productive lives. Bridgewell delivers support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, recovery services, education, and employment training. Bridgewell’s staff of more than 1,400 professionals serves approximately 6,300 people and their families. The Commission accredits Bridgewell on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is fully licensed by the state. For more information, visit bridgewell.org.
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