Mitzi Peterson, MSW , LICSW, CCHP, is the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s Director of Behavioral Health. Overseeing the delivery of clinical services to incarcerated men and women, Mitzi works to establish level of care across the mental health continuum to include initial assessment, outpatient services, residential treatment, inpatient hospitalization and reintegration to the community. Ensuring the wellbeing of the seriously mentally ill, Mitzi has coordinated the ongoing program development and implementation of specialized mental health units to divert individuals from restricted housing to a therapeutic milieu.
A 1997 graduate of Boston College School of Social Work, Mitzi began her career as a Sex Offender Therapist at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, moving into a Mental Health Professional role at various prisons throughout the system. In 2010, Mitzi transitioned from the Assistant Clinical Director of the Sex Offender Treatment Program to the Clinical Director of Old Colony Correctional Center during a significant mission change to consolidate and improve mental health services for 700 incarcerated men. In her current position, she guides the department’s behavioral health adherence to community standard and best practices with a focus on evidence based treatment, trauma informed correctional care, and effective suicide prevention. In addition, Mitzi oversees the care and treatment of incarcerated persons identified as Gender Dysphoric and is the author of the Gender Non-Conforming Policy for the Department. She serves as a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team, is a certified trainer for the Municipal Police Training Committee in Police Response to persons with mental illness as well as a certified facilitator for Sequential Intercept Mapping.
In 2017, Mitzi was a recipient of the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service and a Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Performance for her work on the Bridgewater State Hospital Transition Team.