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September 13, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins was selected to serve on the Executive Session on Community Corrections, which will convene over the next three years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins will be joining the new Executive Session on Community Corrections scheduled to convene over the next three years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. This esteemed panel, which consists of approximately thirty of the leading policymakers, practitioners and researchers from across the country, will help to forge the future of community corrections in the United States. The Session – set to convene at Harvard on September 12, 2013 – aims to develop best practices and thinking for professionals across the public safety and criminal justice spectrum.

The Executive Session on Community Corrections (ESCC) is a collaborative endeavor bringing together Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The Session first began work as the Executive Session on Policing in 1983 when that panel, which included then Attorney General Ed Meese, developed and published a set of influential management and policy papers on community policing.

The new ESCC is forming at a critical time, as the national conversation regarding correctional policy has shifted to a reform movement as states explore new strategies for managing growing prison and jail populations and historically high corresponding budgets. American correctional policy may well be shaped by the work of the Session.

Session participants include leaders in probation, parole, corrections, judiciary, policing and prosecution, advocates, scholars, elected officials and experienced observers of U.S. corrections policy.

Expressing his enthusiasm and appreciation for his selection to the Session, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about the need for continued transition away from punitive policies towards increased emphasis on correction and reentry.

"I am truly honored to be chosen to serve as a member of this prestigious assembly,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “As the country that holds the dubious distinction of possessing the highest rate of incarceration on the planet, we can no longer afford to simply warehouse people. We must continue to increase our collective focus on providing strong corrective programming and effective reentry initiatives. I look forward to working alongside the other distinguished members of the Session to push the discussion about these and other topics.”

As the Sheriff of Suffolk County, Steven W. Tompkins manages all operations at the Suffolk County House of Correction, the Nashua Street Jail, the Chelsea Correction Officer Training Academy and the Civil Process Division. In addition to providing care, custody and rehabilitative support for inmates and pre–trial detainees, Tompkins also oversees a management, security and administrative staff of over 1,000.

Sheriff Tompkins, a member of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department since 2002, was appointed to serve as the Sheriff of Suffolk County on January 22nd, 2013 by Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.

As the former Chief of External Affairs for the Department, Sheriff Tompkins supervised his own division and was a member of his predecessor’s nine–person Executive Team, which was responsible for the day–to–day management of all Sheriff’s Department operations. As the Chief of External Affairs, he established sustainable partnerships with municipal agencies, neighborhood organizations, civic associations, local businesses and crime watch groups to increase community engagement in deterring youth crime and improving reentry programs.

In his current role, Sheriff Tompkins has developed a strategy designed to positively affect public safety through the implementation of five key initiatives that address: Care, Custody and Control of inmates and detainees; Domestic Violence; Substance and Alcohol Abuse Recovery; Education; and Recidivism.

The Executive Session on Community Corrections will continue to meet several times through the spring of 2016.

To request an interview with Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, please contact the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department External Affairs and Communications Division at: (617) 704–6682.


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