• First in the Nation

    Massachusetts created the nation's first juvenile correctional system in 1846 when it opened the Massachusetts State Reform School in Westboro for 400 boys.
  • Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders

    In 1969, Department of Youth Services was established as a separate agency under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Governor Francis Sargent appointed Jerome Miller as the DYS commissioner in 1969. Miller left the Department to accept a position in Illinois.
  • The Growth of Community Partnerships and a Continuum Care

    In January 1973, Miller was succeeded by Joseph Leavy. Commissioner Leavy left the Department in January of 1976 and became the President of Communities for People. That year, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed John Calhoun as the DYS Commissioner. Calhoun left the Department in July of 1979 to become the Director of the National Crime Prevention Council.Governor Edward King appointed Edward M. ("Ned") Murphy as Commissioner in October of 1979. Murphy accepted Governor Dukakis' appointment as Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health in 1985. Murphy's replacement was his deputy at DYS, Edward J. ("Ned") Loughran. In July 1993, Loughran resigned to accept a position as Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.
  • The Hogan Commission

    In September 1993, Governor William F. Weld appointed William D. O'Leary as the sixth DYS Commissioner. O'Leary had served as an Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Mental Health.
  • Strategic Plan

    On August 1, 1997, Governor Paul Cellucci named Robert P. Gittens as the new Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. Gittens replaced O'Leary, who left DYS to accept the position of Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Community Re-entry

    On January 14, 2002, Acting Governor Jane Swift named Michael Bolden as the new Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. Bolden replaced Robert P. Gittens who left DYS to accept the position of Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. Commissioner Bolden resigned from his position and was sworn in as the Associate Justice of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court in 2005.
  • Agency Reform Initiatives and Accomplishments

    On April 14, 2005, Jane E. Tewksbury was named as the Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. One of her first orders of business was to re-establish the DYS Northeast Region. Commissioner Tewksbury has initiated reform efforts in several areas of the agency's operation and directed a realignment of the continuum of services for females....