The Division of Communications and External Affairs combines the efforts of Community Affairs and the Office of Communications. The mission is to expand the message of the Sheriff’s Department to criminal justice practitioners, the community at large and the media.
Among the communication efforts initiated by the Department was the creation of a new employee newsletter called Common Ground; revamping of the department’s internal and external web pages to better reflect the practices and policies of the Department; and the creation of a monthly local access television program to educate the residents of Suffolk County on the mission of the Sheriff’s Department.
The division creates partnerships with criminal justice agencies, community–based organizations, schools, community health agencies and faith communities. Part of the Department’s mission is to increase crime prevention programming for the 14–23 year–old age group includes Jailbrake, the popular crime prevention program offered at the Nashua Street Jail and House of Correction, along with the Ident-A-Youth, Choice, and Senior ID programs. Group tours also play an important role for the Division’s outreach efforts.
The Division also sponsors the Sheriff’s Honor Guard. The Honor Guard attends several public events throughout the county each year, in addition to representing the county in various memorials held nationally.
Outreach through the Communications & External Affairs Division include:
Cable TV Program
The Common Ground cable show was introduced in June of 2006 to help disseminate the Department’s message of public safety, crime prevention, and continue with its strong commitment to provide taxpayers with operational transparency.
Each week Department heads from inside the organization, as well as members of social, civic, and law enforcement agencies, as well as employees from city, state, and federal entities are interviewed for the show. The program is broadcast on Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) channel #9 and RCN channel #15 Mondays from 2:00-3:00 p.m., Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m., Fridays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., and Sundays from 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Shows are then submitted to Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop community cable stations for re–broadcast at future dates and times:
Chelsea Cable channels #3 & #16 on Mondays 3–4 p.m.
Revere Cable channel #9 on Fridays 5–6 p.m. & Sundays 8–9 a.m.
Winthrop Cable channel #3 on Mondays 8–9 p.m. & Wednesdays 1–2 p.m.
Click here for an online video library of previous Common Ground cable shows that you can watch.
Neighborhood Community Meetings
Staff from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department visit neighborhood organizations, civic associations, and crime watch groups throughout Suffolk County. Meeting attendees are given an overview of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, our role in public safety, insight into the myriad of youth programs administered and an understanding of the re–entry programs offered to inmates. If you are interested in having the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department address one of your community meetings, please contact Chief of External Affairs Sandy Zamor-Calixte at (617) 704-6654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common Ground Institute
The Common Ground Institute (CGI) is a 10–week instructional program divided into two 5–week modules. Each section is designed to enhance and fortify employment skills that will aid our population in making a successful transition back into society post incarceration. Read more…
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers tours of the facility in an effort to educate the public about the safe, secure and efficient operation of one of Massachusetts’ busiest correctional environments. These tours speak to the challenge of housing over 2700 pre-trial and sentenced inmates and provide general information about the facility. Read more…
Tours of the facility are also provided through the Jail Brake program. Jail Brake is offered as a resource to schools, community groups and various juvenile agencies that work with adolescents. Jail Brake is a realistic, preventative educational program that allows adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16 to experience a few hours in jail. This hard-hitting program exposes any myths that may exist about life while incarcerated, demonstrating that criminal activity entails very real consequences. Read more…
Choice Officer School Program
The Sheriff’s Department visits schools around the county to speak with students about making smart choices. The presentation is geared towards students in the fifth through ninth grades with the intent of making young adults aware that they are responsible for their actions and that their actions have long–lasting consequences. It is our hope that after speaking with students and providing them insight into what life in jail is like they will be discouraged from choosing a life of crime. Read more…
Nationally, an estimated 800,000 children under the age of 18 are reported missing each year. That’s an average of more than 2,000 children reported missing every day.
With any efforts undertaken to identify these missing children, fingerprints play a crucial role. Consequently, as part of its external mission to support public health and safety, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers the Ident–A–Youth fingerprinting program to the residents of Suffolk County. Read more…
Safety Tips for Kids
The Safety Tips for Kids coloring book is a publication of the Sheriff’s Department that features a host of puzzles and games created to help teach children about fire safety, avoiding contact with strangers, internet safety, the importance of wearing a seatbelt, bicycle safety, knowing their home address and telephone number and other important items. These books are given to children through the External Affairs Division at community events as part of the Sheriff’s Department Indent–A–Youth program.
Click here for the Safety Tips for Kids coloring book in PDF format.
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers three public safety initiatives to senior residents of Suffolk County. The Senior Identification Program, Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors and the Safety in Numbers Program. Read more…
911 Cell Phone Bank
Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department have joined forces with the National Sheriff’s Association and the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association to provide emergency communications to victims of abuse in the community.
The Department is conducting a cell phone recycling fundraiser and we are simply asking you to help protect the environment by donating your used cell phone(s). Your donation will be used to help the community by providing much needed funds for our organization and emergency communications to victims of abuse through the 911 Cell Phone Bank program. Read more…
Victim Services Unit
The Sheriff’s Department is committed to protecting the rights of victims. The primary goal of the Victim Services Unit is to ensure that victims of crime, their families, and other concerned individuals have access to information and assistance concerning offenders in the custody of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Read more…
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has developed a variety of in–house videos through the External Affairs Division that go into detail about the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, some of the issues facing corrections, changes being instituted in the women’s programming area, youth programs, the Common Ground Institute, and the weekly Common Ground cable show. Watch videos…