scscdma logo
faq | careers | contact | links
logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the responsibilities of the Sheriff? Special Sheriff?

Q. How does the Sheriff get into office?

Q. What type of programs are available to the inmates?

Q. What does the Sheriff do to ensure that inmates will become better citizens after release?

Q. How can I get a tour of the Jail? Of the House of Correction?

Q. How big is the cell that an inmate lives in?

Q. Do inmates and detainees have uniforms or can they dress any way they want?

Q. How many Sheriffs are there?

Q. How many people work at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department?

Q. How can I volunteer to provide services to inmates?

Q. What is the difference between the Jail and House of Correction?

Q. How many inmates can be housed at the Suffolk County Jail or the House of Correction?

Q. Are women and men kept in the same facilities?

Q. How do I know if someone I know is being held there?

Q. Are there special facilities for disabled Inmates or visitors?

Q. When can I visit the Jail? House of Correction?

Q. How do I bail out a detainee?

Q. How do I get money to an inmate’s account?

Q. How do I send mail to a detainee or an inmate?




Q. What are the responsibilities of the Sheriff? Special Sheriff?
A. The Sheriff oversees all operations of the Suffolk County Jail, Suffolk County House of Correction, and the Civil Process Division. The position of Special Sheriff is governed by Massachusetts General Law chapter 37 section 5. It is the responsibility of the Special Sheriff to perform the duties of the Sheriff if the Sheriff is unable to perform them.

| top |


Q. How does the Sheriff get into office?
A. The Sheriff of Suffolk County is an elected official who serves a six-year term. The citizens of Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere elect the Suffolk County Sheriff.

| top |


Q. What type of programs are available for the inmates?
A. The inmates who are remanded to the Suffolk County House of Correction (HOC) have a variety of program services available to them. These include social services, educational, vocational, medical, and spiritual services. Educational programs at the HOC range from Basic Adult Education, to General Equivalency Diplomas (GED), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Vocational programs include food sanitation programs, keyboarding, computer literacy, computer-assisted drafting, graphic design, and carpentry. Inmates also have access to recreational activities and can request reading materials from the HOC’s library. Social service programs are comprised of AA/NA, parenting, HIV/AIDS, mental health, etc.

| top |


Q. What does the Sheriff do to ensure that inmates will become better citizens after release?
A. There are a number of life and job skill programs available to inmates at the House of Correction to facilitate a safer, legal lifestyle upon release back into the community. Inmates can participate in educational, recovery and vocational programs while incarcerated at the House of Correction. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department emphasizes personal responsibility for an individual’s actions, while also attempting to rehabilitate behavior that may have led to criminal actions.

| top |


Q. How can I get a tour of the Jail? How do I get a tour of the House of Correction?
A. Tours of the Suffolk County Jail and the House of Correction are available. If you would like to schedule a tour for a group, please call the Communications and External Affairs Division at (617) 704-6655.

| top |


Q. What is the cell size?
A. The average cell at the Suffolk County Jail and the House of Correction is about seven feet wide by ten feet long. Medical cells are slightly larger to accommodate any necessary medical equipment. Cells can have up to three beds in them, a sink, toilet, a window, and a mirror. Inmates and detainees also have access to a recreation room, shower facilities and an outdoor recreation deck.

| top |


Q. Do inmates and detainees have uniforms or can they dress any way they want?
A. Detainees at the Suffolk County Jail and inmates at the House of Correction are issued uniforms upon their entrance into each facility. Inmates/detainees are required to wear uniforms while housed at either facility unless they are scheduled to appear in Court.

| top |


Q. How many Sheriffs are there?
A. There are 14 Sheriffs that represent the 14 counties of Massachusetts. The Sheriffs belong to an association called the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, and participate in training and meetings to advance correctional practices in Massachusetts’ county correction settings.

| top |


Q. How many people work at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department?
A. Approximately 1100 employees work at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. More than 800 of them are correction or jail officers at the Jail or the House of Correction. Officers are assigned to one of three shifts per day.

| top |


Q. How can I volunteer to provide services to inmates?
A. If you are interested in volunteering opportunities at Nashua Street Jail call 617-635-1100, ext. 6675 and for the House of Correction call 617-635-1000, ext. 6542.

| top |


Q. What is the difference between the Jail and House of Correction?
A. The Suffolk County Jail houses pretrial male detainees. Males are housed there before their trials. The House of Correction (HOC) confines both pretrial and sentenced females and males who have been found guilty of a crime. Inmates at the HOC are serving sentences of less than two and a half years. The average sentence is 14 months.

| top |


Q. How many inmates can be housed at the Suffolk County Jail or the House of Correction?
A. The Suffolk County Jail at Nashua Street was originally designed for 453 detainees, but today can house 682 detainees. The House of Correction was originally designed for 900 inmates, but its current capacity can house 1892 inmates.

| top |


Q. Are women and men kept in the same facilities?
A. Yes. The Suffolk County House of Correction houses both men and women. However, males and females are housed on separate floors and have no contact with one another while in the institution. Because of the decentralized nature of the facility, meals are served in housing units, and visit areas are separated to prevent contact between men and women.

| top |


Q. How do I know if someone I know is being held there?
A. If you would like to locate an individual, you can call the Records Division. For inquiries regarding the House of Correction call (617) 635-1000 x2017 and for information about an individual at the Jail call (617) 635-1100 x3005.

| top |


Q. Are there special facilities for disabled inmates or visitors?
A. Both the Jail and the House of Correction are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

| top |


Q. When can I visit the Jail? House of Correction?
A. Click here for Jail visiting hours. Click here for House of Correction visiting hours.

| top |


Q. How do I bail out a detainee?
A. Please contact the bail commissioner. The names and phone numbers of the bail commissioners can be ascertained by contacting the Jail Records Division at (617) 635-1100 x3005.

| top |


Q. How do I get money to an inmate’s account?
A. Cash is not accepted! The only way to get money into a detainee’s/inmate’s account is with a money order made out to the inmate. In addition, there is a limit of $500 that may be in a detainee’s/inmate’s account. Money orders that exceed $500 or cause a detainee’s/inmate’s account balance to exceed $500 will not be accepted.

| top |


Q. How do I send mail to a detainee or an inmate?
A. Sending mail to a detainee being held at the Nashua Street Jail, the return address including the name of the sender must be posted on the envelope. The mail should be sent to: Detainee Name, ID Number, 200 Nashua Street Jail, Boston, MA 02114. Sending mail to an inmate being held at the South Bay House of Correction, the return address including the name of the sender must be posted on the envelope. The mail should be sent to: Inmate Name, ID Number, 20 Bradston Street, Boston, MA 02118. Correspondence MUST be, typed or written in pen or in non–colored pencil. All letters must written or typed in BLACK ink. The paper that the letter is written on must be white and free of stains, spills or discoloration. All drawings must also be in either non–colored pencil or black ink. ALL greeting cards must not be multi-layered. Please Note: ALL MAIL IS SEARCHED BEFORE BEING PROCESSED AND FORWARDED TO THE DETAINEES AND INMATES.

| top of page |

 

 

© 2003 - 2014 Suffolk County Sheriff's Department. All rights reserved.