The Essex County Sheriff’s Department was one of the first law enforcement agencies in the state to embrace the concept of community corrections centers.  The department, in collaboration with the state Office of Community Corrections, the Essex County probation offices, state Parole Board, and Essex County District Attorney’s Office, opened the first center in Lawrence in July, 1998. It was followed in 2000 with the opening of a center in Newburyport, which has subsequently re-located to Route 110 in Salisbury. The third center opened in Lynn in March, 2001.

All drug testing is done at the centers, rather than being sent to outside laboratories, which saves taxpayers thousands of dollars.  Staffers assigned to the centers are responsible for watching offenders who have been placed on electronic monitoring.

The objectives of the centers are:

  • To provide offenders with the opportunity to live and work in their communities while they are treated and held accountable for their conduct by the courts.
  • To structure individualized rehabilitative programs for offenders based on the requirements of their court sentences.
  • To encourage a work ethic in offenders by teaching job skills, assisting in job placements and monitoring employment progress.
  • To reduce the rate of drug abuse by offenders by mandating random drug testing and substance abuse treatment.
  • To foster accountability among offenders by establishing graduated penalties for participants who fail to follow their treatment plans.
  • To have offenders respect and prioritize victims’ rights by fulfilling their obligations to those they have harmed.
  • To offer referrals which enhance the academic education of the participants. 

REHABILITATION AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES  

The community corrections centers serve two levels of offenders.  The court determines the classification level.

Level IV offenders are subject to the most intense program and are accountable to staff for their whereabouts 24 hours a day.  This encompasses electronic monitoring every day of the week, day reporting, and inpatient alcohol or drug treatment and halfway house placement.

Level III offenders are accountable for their whereabouts on a daily basis.  Electronic monitoring, day reporting, curfews, and intensive probation supervision are the policing mechanisms.

Services and expectations for Level IV offenders are:

  • Day reporting for 4-6 hours.
  • Five to 10 hours of community service per week.
  • AIDS prevention education.
  • Alcohol and drug counseling.
  • GED classes.
  • Job readiness.
  • Drug testing.
  • Life-skills classes.
  • Referrals for additional services.  

Services and expectations for Level III offenders are:

  • Day reporting for 4-6 hours.
  • Five to 10 hours of community service per week.
  • AIDS prevention education.
  • GED classes.
  • Job readiness.
  • Drug testing.
  • Life-skills classes.
  • Referrals for additional services.  

Other rehabilitative classes offered to offenders include: critical and rational thinking skills; the five steps of decision making; interpersonal communication skills; violence prevention; impulse control; and stress management