For Immediate Release - January 22, 2013


Secretary Cabral to lead working group to improve Sheriffs' departments funding structure

Andrea Cabral Swearing-In
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - Governor Patrick swears in Andrea Cabral as Secretary of Public Safety and Security in the Governor’s Council Chambers at the State House. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office)

BOSTON – Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today officially swore in Andrea Cabral as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Cabral is a leader in the field of public safety and as the first female in the Commonwealth’s history to hold the position of Sheriff of Suffolk County, she brings an extensive background in criminal justice and public safety to the Patrick-Murray Administration.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Andrea Cabral to the Administration as Secretary of Public Safety and Security,” said Governor Patrick. “She has done a truly remarkable job as Sheriff of Suffolk County. The reforms she has enacted and the reentry programs she developed have made our community stronger and safer while giving people the tools they need to find a way forward. I am confident she will serve the Commonwealth with that same creative and accountable leadership.”

“I am honored by the tremendous confidence Governor Patrick has placed with me. I am excited to join the Administration and look forward to advocating for these critical public safety and criminal justice priorities,” said Secretary Cabral. “As we move forward in the coming fiscal year, I will chair a working group that will focus on identifying efficiencies and creating consistent and uniform funding streams for each Sheriff based on their budget needs and programming.”

The Governor also announced today that Secretary Cabral will lead a working group between the Administration and the Commonwealth’s Sheriffs to improve the state’s funding structure for Sheriff Departments. Under the current system, there is often inconsistency in funding levels due to varied levels of federal inmate revenue, county population and other factors.

The working group, which will be proposed as part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget set to be released tomorrow, will improve Sheriffs’ outdated funding structures, analyze and identify savings from the sentencing reform legislation Governor Patrick signed in August 2012, determine ways to best use existing capacity to reduce overcrowding and prevent unnecessary overbuilding of correctional facilities and develop a statewide strategic plan on how to measure and improve re-entry outcomes for inmates.  Governor Patrick’s budget will call for the working group to submit recommendations by July 1, 2013.

Secretary Cabral’s long and distinguished career in public service began in 1986 as a staff attorney in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.  As a prosecutor for the Middlesex District Attorney starting in 1987, she handled cases in both the District and Superior Courts.  In 1991, Cabral became an Assistant Attorney General and in 1993 she joined the Suffolk County DA’s Office to become the Director of the Roxbury District Court Family Violence Project prosecuting domestic violence cases.  She assumed the role of Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit a year later and, in 1998, became District Courts and Community Prosecutions Chief.

“While Sheriff Cabral’s appointment to Public Safety Secretary is a personal and professional loss to all of the members of the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association it’s a win for the people of the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association President Michael Bellotti.  “The Governor recognized the talent, innovation and leadership she’ll now share statewide rather than in Suffolk County alone.”

As Public Safety Secretary, Cabral will oversee 13 state public safety agencies responsible for law enforcement, criminal justice, forensic sciences and homeland security. She is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School.

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