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February 16, 2007

CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
(617) 961-6650


On February 14, the Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral convened its first female Jail Brake. Female students and a teacher from the Counseling & Intervention Center in Boston attended this first Jail Brake. This new female component offers an essential addition to the Jail Brake program that was originally created in 1987.

Jail Brake is designed to help reduce the rise in violent acts committed by adolescents in Suffolk County and to curtail the increase in the number of young people being incarcerated. The program emphasizes the realities of imprisonment including: lack of control, lack of privacy, and responsibility for one’s own actions. By giving adolescents a few hours of life within the confines of the South Bay House of Correction, we are giving them a first hand look at the consequences of their actions.

Nationwide, we have seen a significant increase of female arrests. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the total number of arrests made in 2004 was approximately 7.8% higher than the total in 2000. Among females age 15–24 however, arrests increased by about 15%. Additionally, a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ in forecasting America’s prison population from 2007–2011, projects that nationally in the next five years, female inmates will increase 16 percent compared with 12 percent for males. There are specific factors that have led to an increase in the number of female offenders. Sheriff Cabral is committed to addressing those factors and is working to reverse their effects.

“Each year, we house a greater and greater number of female inmates and detainees,” said Sheriff Cabral. “It’s a very unsettling trend, and we are working to reverse it.”

Creation of the female Jail Brake further demonstrates the sheriff’s commitment to dealing with crime prevention measures and offering innovative solutions.

“In an effort to reduce the violence amongst female youth, it is important to allow them to experience the reality of being incarcerated,” said Sandy Zamor–Calixte, Coordinator of External Affairs for the Sheriff’s Department.

At the completion of the program, the teacher commented, “This was a very informative and eye opening experience of the harsh reality of making bad decisions.” She continued, “This program was incredible and the officers were amazing.”

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers this program as a resource to schools, community groups and various juvenile agencies. Quite often courts use Jail Brake as a condition of probation for youths who have already broken the law. On another level, this resource can be applied to borderline individuals and troublesome teenagers who have never actually been caught breaking the law.

If you are interested in participating in the weekly Jail Brake program or would like more information, please contact Deputy Abe Ayuso at the Department of Communications and External Affairs at 617–635–1100 X3156.

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