Directions, Visiting Policy, Offender Programs
Bay State Correctional Center was a specialized facility that was planned and designed to address the unique needs of inmates who were incarcerated for significant portions of their lives. In order to understand the evolution of this facility, one must keep in mind the historical perspective.
The present site of Bay State Correctional Center was originally used by nearby MCI-Norfolk as a dormitory, housing inmate trustees that helped its original operation as a farm which fed the inmate population of that prison facility.
The housing unit and farm was closed down and abandoned in 1954 and the building was designated as a storage space. In 1976, the department faced the origins of overcrowding and developed a "renovation project" whereby an inmate construction crew lived in the building as they renovated. Upon completion in September 1977, Bay State Correctional Center opened as a minimum-security facility housing 72 inmates.
In 1987, ground breaking and construction began to the existing building and the facility was upgraded to house a total of 146 inmates. The original building was converted to office and program space. A modular building, housing 120 additional inmates was constructed in 1990, for a total population of 266.
A change in security level occurred in 1991, and Bay State Correctional Center was now designated a medium security facility housing primarily "lifers and long-termers." Thirty additional beds were added in 1995 and twenty-two more were added in 2006 for a total capacity of 320 where it stands today
Currently, BSCC is operating as a small, general population, medium security facility. BSCC houses both long and short term inmates, many inmates who are elderly. BSCC is a fully handicapped accessible facility. (Most areas of the facility are handicapped accessible).
In a collaborative effort with outside agencies, Bay State has always been committed to providing community service through a variety of programs. Many of the programs at Bay State serve to not only teach inmates skills but also to provide a service to the facility, the Department of Corrections and the community. In addition to those programs offered throughout the department, Bay State offers some of the following site-specific programs:
- Prison Voices - Prison Voices is an educational community outreach program that confronts school age children and young adults with the reality and the consequences of becoming involved in criminal behavior.
- Greenhouse - The program serves to enhance the appearance of not only the grounds but also the office and program areas of the facility. Plants are donated to other institutions, the Norfolk Town Hall and the Norfolk Council On Aging.
- Braille Production Shop - As part of the Braille program, the Department of Correction and the Bureau of Institutional Schools have joined in a cooperative effort to provide materials to students who are blind or visually impaired. Print materials are initially typed by inmates into a word processor and then translated into Braille files for embossing. Inmates are involved in producing Braille books, which are used in community schools to help blind children in the Commonwealth. Since the onset of the program in February of 1992, 542 books have been distributed.
- Anger Management - This is a program designed to target anger management and aggression. Participants gain an understanding of anger and skills to lessen aggressive behavior. A volunteer for the Department of Correction coordinates this program.
The majority of Bay State's inmates work under supervision in areas ranging from food service to maintenance. Bay State provides restorative justice projects to the City of Norfolk such as refurbishing furniture for the local town. BSCC also provides a wide range of vocational and educational programming, such as landscaping and the Boston University program.