In a fearweary nation where we daily face one dire prediction after another, I am loathe to use extremes to describe any problem. Unfortunately, truancy and dropout rates in Boston merit use of the dreaded descriptor: crisis.
As Sheriff of Suffolk County, I am responsible for staffing the largest Sheriffs Department in the Commonwealth. With an average attrition rate of 15 employees per month and consecutive decreases in fiscal appropriations for the last three years, we are consistently challenged to maintain adequate staffing levels.
Last year, more than 4,300 offenders completed their sentences at the Suffolk County House of Correction at South Bay and were released back into the communities. Statewide, more than 20,000 adults were released from state and county prisons.
Thousands of men and women are committed to the Suffolk County Jail each year, and each receives the best possible medical care available. The Jail, located at 200 Nashua St. in Boston, processed more than 13,000 pretrial detaineesmen and women arrestedin 2003.