Northeastern Correctional Center
Mari Lou Whalen, Deputy Superintendent
Twenty miles north west of Boston Massachusetts you will find the Northeastern Correctional Center, established in 1932, located on approximately 300 acres of farmland. The Northeastern Correctional Center is an all male prison that houses inmates for two levels of security (level three/minimum and level two/pre-release). Our housing capacity for level three is 182 and 80 for level two inmates. The Northeastern Correctional Center is accredited by the American Correctional Association ( ACA ), managed by the Massachusetts Department of Correction and overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety.
Our Mission begins with providing inmates with solid work ethics and programs with the objective of releasing them back into our communities with a clear direction of their future. We accomplish this by providing structured educational, vocational, substance abuse and work release opportunities. Through our sound security practices and classification process, we strive to provide a safe and humane environment for both the offender and staff.
Level-three inmates housed at the Northeastern Correctional Center provide many hours of community services to our surrounding Towns, Cities, State and Government Municipalities that is known as our Community Inmate Work Crew program. Inmates are transported to their designated work detail and are supervised by a correctional professional. Perhaps you have seen one of our inmate community work crews, cleaning up your streets and highways or maybe painting a public building. Since the Massachusetts Department of Correction's Community Work Crew program has been in force, we have provided many hours of labor that has ultimately saved the tax payers of Massachusetts millions of dollars.
Our Pre-Release program is designed to screen eligible level-two inmates who are within eighteen months of their release and provide them with outside employment. The pre-release work program benefits the inmate by providing work with the goal to financially re- establish them once they are released from incarceration. The pre-release program also rewards the employer by offering the " Work Opportunity Tax Credit ." An employer can deduct forty-percent of the first $6000.00 of gross wages for each inmate hired.
Our correctional staff and community volunteers provide many programs that are focused on preparing inmates for their eventual release. We have a large amount of volunteers, more specifically, Concord Prison Outreach Group who is committed to help the offender in all areas of interests. Some of the programs offered to the inmate population include, Family Day, educational tutoring, art projects, religious programs etc.
Selected inmates are also involved with the National Education for Assistance Dog Services N.E.A.D.S program. Inmates are selected to train specialty dogs to assist people who have aural or other physical disabilities. The puppy or dog is placed with the inmate handler where they accompany him all around the minimum-security facility, from the chow hall to the visiting room where they will socialize with lots of people and children. The handlers will attend weekly classes where they will learn to teach puppies to respond to basic obedience commands such as sit, down, stand, heel, come and stay. Later on the handlers will learn how to teach the puppies to fetch objects, tug doors open, turn light switches on and off as well as work next to a wheel chair. The dogs will eventually be return to NEADS for "finish" work and then be placed with a person with a physical disability.
A fluctuating staff of 87 correctional officers and administrative support personnel supervised and managed an inmate population that averaged 220 inmates per day in 2003.