Legal Services

Legal Services Division


As an essential part of its daily operations, Office of the General Counsel maintains under its jurisdiction the Inmate Legal Services Division, with one office at the Suffolk County Jail and another at the House of Correction.

The overall mission of Inmate Legal Services Divisions (NSJ & HOC) is to ensure that the constitutional right of reasonable access, when requested by pre-trial detainees and incarcerated individuals, to the courts, their counsels, and governmental authorities regarding their pre- and post–conviction matters and conditions of incarceration, are being met. The Inmate Legal Services Division staff consists of the Director (Attorney), paralegals and supporting administrative staff. 

Inmate Legal Services Division (JAIL) facilitates the Bail Appeal Project to ensure that pre-trial detainees exercise their statutory right to a bail appeal pursuant to M.G.L. c. 276 §58.  Bail appeal hearings are requested by their Attorneys and are currently held virtually at the JAIL as well as the HOC, via ZOOM, before the Suffolk Superior Court, on a daily basis.  In addition, the Inmate Legal Services Division (JAIL) does legal research upon written request and processes all legal requests, provides notary services, facilitates Attorney/Client communication through ZOOM and Attorney Calls, and prepares legal paperwork for courts’ approval of detainee commitments to Bridgewater State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 123 §18(A), when requested by Medical Division.

Inmate Legal Services Division (HOC) provides legal research, upon written request, for incarcerated inmates and some pre-trial detainees who are held there, processes legal requests and provides notary services, among others.  Inmate Legal Services Division at HOC also prepares and files Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) when necessary, on behalf of inmates and works with various external agencies in order to resolve certain issues affecting inmates during their stay at the HOC.

In addition, pre-trial detainees and inmates receive assistance in preparing and filing legal papers.  This assistance may include access to the law library, instruction in the use of legal materials and reference assistance, but does not include legal advice.  Inmate Legal Services Divisions’ staff at NSJ and HOC are also very instrumental in assisting Attorneys with reasonable requests on issues pertaining to their clients while held in our custody.

The Massachusetts General Law Authorizing Statutes that guide the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department are as follows:

  • Provisions of County Jail, MGL c. 34 s.3
  • Election, Term of Sheriff, MGL c. 37, s. 1, MGL 54, s.159
  • Custody and Control of Jails, MGL c.125 s.1
  • Transportation of Prisoners MGL c.37 s.24-25
  • Compliance with Correctional Standards, MGL c.127 s. 1a-1b
  • Detention of Prisoners from other Counties MGL. 279 s.38
  • Medical Care for Prisoners, MGL 127 s. 177a
  • Custody of Prisoners, MGL. C248, s.18
  • Obligation to Provide House of Correction, MGL 34, s. 3
  • Power to Build, Repair. MGL 34. S.14
  • Obligation to Receive Inmates Committed, MGL. C. 268, s. 20
  • County Commissioners of Suffolk County, MGL. C.34, s.4
  • Inspection, Operation, Supervision, etc. MGL c. 126, MGL c. 127, s 1a-10, 169
  • Regulations, 3 CMR 900l CMR 451-459, MGL c.6, s167-178, 803 CMR 2-6
  • Powers and Duties, CDC St. 12. S.350-357, CBC Ord. 12, s. 350-353
  • Deeds Excise, MGL c. 64d