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April 22, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins speaks to members of the TenPoint Coalition during a recent meeting.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently stood before members of Boston’s Ten–Point Coalition to speak about the tenets of his stated agenda to reduce recidivism and increase public safety within the communities of Suffolk County.

The Boston TenPoint Coalition (BTPC) is “an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the community around issues affecting Black and Latino youth. Its mission is to end the era of violence in Boston, and demonstrate the vital need for faith–based institutions to participate in city–wide crime reduction strategy and to transform the culture of violence in the Greater Boston community, one neighborhood at a time.”

Beginning his address before the assembly of clergy and concerned community members, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about a range of topics that included his focus on initiatives aimed at increasing public safety within the neighborhoods of Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere.

“First and foremost, my charge as the Sheriff of Suffolk County is the care, custody and control of inmates and detainees held within our facilities – the South Bay House of Correction and the Nashua Street Jail,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “Custody is essentially guardianship, and control is that element that allows us to redirect behavior and work to change the way a person acts.”

“When people are taken into custody, they can leave the same, worse or better than they were when they first came in,” continued Sheriff Tompkins. “We have the opportunity to reconfigure their attitudes. We’re offering programs and educational opportunities that can help them to leave better than they were when they came in.”

Sheriff Tompkins also spoke about his core focus on four specific items that he will be making the centerpiece of his early administration: Re–entry and reducing recidivism; lobbying for more community beds for mental health and substance abuse care; reducing domestic violence; and childhood education as a means to prevent young people from ever committing offenses that would lead to incarceration.

In his previous ten years with the Department prior to his appointment as Sheriff, Tompkins initiated the innovative “Common Ground Institute,” a vocational training and re–entry program for returning citizens; the “Choice Program,” a youth violence and crime prevention initiative; and the “JailBrake” program, which directly targets youth at risk for involvement in the criminal justice system. For more information about the Boston TenPoint Coalition, visit:

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