Court Capital Project: Ongoing Projects

Court Capital Projects represents the Trial Court during the planning, programming, design, construction and post-occupancy of all courthouse construction and improvement projects. Below is a list of major projects in the works for the year ahead:

Court Capital Master PlanFull court system assessment and design guidelinesCompleted 2016
Greenfield CourthouseComplete renovation / expansion projectConstruction to be completed late 2016
Salem Probate & Family CourthouseComplete renovation / expansion projectConstruction to be complete mid-2016
New Lowell CourthouseNew courthouseConstruction to be completed late 2016
Springfield Hall of JusticeElevator modernization / ADA upgradesConstruction to start Summer 2016
Brighton CourthouseExterior envelope / front stairsDesign to be complete Spring 2016
Haverhill CourthouseBuilding renovationsDesign to be complete Spring 2016

Update on Sight and Sound Separation for Juveniles

The multi-agency task force to achieve sight and sound separation between juvenile and adult detainees continued its work with a second series of courthouse audits. Recommendations are being developed to remedy pre-existing deficiencies, with a number of courthouses currently slated for either operational changes, deployment of screening materials, and/or minor or major construction measures. Changes have already been implemented in several courthouse locations.

There are 12 court locations in which separation of adult and juvenile detention areas can be accomplished through operational changes to existing procedures, such as designating certain detainee cells to be reserved solely for juvenile or adult use, or designating alternate entrances and passages to lockup and the courtrooms instead of transporting juveniles through the lockup area in view of adult detainees.  The recommended changes vary by location, but are expected to be put in place this Spring, and then gauged for their effectiveness. These sites include:

Brockton Superior Court
Brookline District Court
Edgartown District/Juvenile Court
Fitchburg District/Juvenile Court
Fenton Justice Center, Lawrence
Hadley Juvenile Court
Holyoke Juvenile Court
Leominster District Court
Nantucket District/Juvenile Court
Northampton District Court
Orange District/Juvenile Court
Wareham District/Juvenile Court


ACCO Sorrenti installs new barriers in Lynn

Award-winning solution. In this photo, Assistant Chief Court Officer Michael Sorrenti quickly installs the new sight and sound separation barrier to the lockup at the Essex County Juvenile Court in Lynn. Sight and Sound Separation Team members Mary Gorham, Leased Property Manager for Facilities Management, Christopher McQuade, Administrative Attorney for the Legal Department, and William Kane, Administrative Assistant for Intergovernmental Relations for the Juvenile Court, received a 2015 Trial Court Excellence Award in Innovation for their creative solution to a long-standing challenge. 

The easy-to-install magnetic barrier, invented by Wild Buffalo Technologies and Innovations, a small, New York City-based company, is made up of a tamper-proof opaque canvas with magnets installed in the inseams. When pressed against metal doors and frames, the magnets anchor the canvas and hold it fast in place. The magnets make the screens easy to install and remove as needed. The product is often used in medical/hospital settings in addition to correctional institutions and by law enforcement. The screens are much more cost-effective than designing and constructing a renovated space, or to install curtains on ceiling-mounted tracks. 

Sight and sound separation of juveniles has been significantly improved through the deployment of screening materials and other devices to effectively separate adults and juveniles at these three courts:

Lynn Juvenile Court
Barnstable District Court
Hingham District Court

In the case of Hingham, as well as some other locations, more complicated solutions requiring construction will be pursued with the goal to update those facilities to be more in line with accommodations at more recently built courthouses.

Another 11 courthouses will be remedied through the deployment of screening materials:

Fall River Durfee Juvenile Court
Framingham Juvenile Court
Hadley Juvenile Court
Holyoke Juvenile Court
Milford District Court
Newburyport District / Juvenile Court
Northampton District Court
Orange District / Juvenile Court
Suffolk County Courthouse
Waltham District Court
West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court

Next up for improvement are the courts requiring minor or major construction in order to provide adequate separation. This includes 19 buildings, some of which will already have received repairs, including the deployment of screening materials. Construction will span from 2016 into 2018, with schedules that vary by court and level of complexity. Locations are as follows:

Minor Construction

Attleboro District Court
Brookline District Court
Fitchburg District/Juvenile Court
Great Barrington District Court
Leominster District Court
Lowell Juvenile Court
Stoughton District/Juvenile Court

Major Construction

Barnstable Superior Court
Cambridge Juvenile Court
Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court
Dudley District/Juvenile Court
Falmouth District/Juvenile Court
Hingham District/Juvenile Court
Newburyport District/Juvenile Court
Norfolk Superior Court, Dedham
Orleans District/Juvenile Court
Quincy District/Juvenile Court
Suffolk County Courthouse
Waltham District/Juvenile Court