Boston, MA 02110-1300
Phone (617) 727-3300 X 124
The primary mission of the Legal Division is to provide legal representation to Department of Correction administrators and employees working in eighteen correctional institutions, as well as several administrative divisions. The Legal Division also represents the Commissioner of Correction in cases of employee termination and similar labor and employment matters brought before the Civil Service Commission or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The litigation handled by the Legal Division in both state and federal courts and in administrative forums occupies the vast majority of its duties and responsibilities, which duties also include: the provision of legal opinions; the drafting and review of legislation and contracts; the issuance of legal advice on matters involving the environment, health services, sentencing, and confidentiality ; and the handling of public records requests.
The heavy volume of litigation brought against Department of Correction employees averages eighty-five new cases per month and consists primarily of inmate civil rights actions, requiring a total staff of thirty-six attorneys. In addition to the defense of civil rights actions, three attorneys specialize in labor and employment, and three handle worker's compensation claims, with an eye toward reducing fraudulent claims. Ten DOC attorneys operating from satellite offices at Bridgewater State Hospital and the Massachusetts Treatment Center specialize in mental health matters, including civil commitment proceedings, forced medication and guardianship hearings, and hearings on annual release petitions brought by sex offenders at the Treatment Center.