FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 28, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently welcomed Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Robert DeLeo and several members of his staff for a tour of the Suffolk County House of Correction.
Chaperoned on the tour by Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and led by Superintendent of the House of Correction Yolanda Smith and ADS Major Richard McCarthy, Speaker DeLeo visited several key stations in the facility including the Education Division, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building, Women’s Programming, the Common Ground Institute in vocational education programming, and an inmate housing unit.
The purpose of the tour was to provide Speaker DeLeo with information about the functions and programs that the Department offers to inmates and detainees, while increasing the Department’s transparency among legislators and public officials.
Along the tour route, Speaker DeLeo posed numerous insightful questions, drawing the connection between some of the Department’s programming – Freedom From Violence, which is an intensive course on the origins, causes and nature of violence and how to make the transition from violent thinking and behaviors to a non–violent lifestyle – and a mutual effort to address and reduce domestic violence both behind the walls and in the communities of Suffolk County. Speaker DeLeo is currently nearing the completion of his efforts to introduce a comprehensive new domestic violence bill in the House of Representatives, following months of research and study.
At the conclusion of the tour, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about the importance of hosting tours for legislators like Speaker DeLeo inside the House of Correction.
“First and foremost, I think it’s important that we share with our elected officials the great work that we’re doing in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “There are 1,000–plus dedicated and hard–working individuals who come together as a team each and every day to maintain the high–standard of care, custody and control that we’re mandated to deliver.”
“At the end of the day,” continued Sheriff Tompkins, “we want to be great community partners with our lawmakers because we’re all working to make our neighborhoods safer, and we can achieve more by working together. By bringing in people like Speaker DeLeo – who gets what it is that we’re trying to do here – we’re fostering that partnership, which we hope will pay dividends in the near future with increased public safety and healthier communities.”