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Overview of the Bristol County Sheriff's Office

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

Table of Contents

Overview

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was established as an independent state agency on August 6, 2009, when the Bristol County government was abolished.1 The Sheriff became an employee of the Commonwealth, but remained an elected official and retained administrative and operational control over BCSO. During our audit period, BCSO had an average of 726 employees. According to its website,

BCSO works in partnership with law enforcement agencies, government entities and community groups, lending resources to train, educate, and respond to the safety concerns of our communities. Three adult correctional facilities, a juvenile alternative lock-up, a regional lock-up, and a host of divisions ranging from Civil Process to Homeland Security comprise the Department.

BCSO operates the Bristol County House of Correction at 400 Faunce Corner Road in North Dartmouth. This multi-building facility was opened in 1990 and is used for the care and custody of people who are sentenced or awaiting trial, as well as federal detainees who are undergoing deportation proceedings with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As of December 25, 2017, BCSO reported that 751 inmates and 198 ICE detainees (68% of capacity) lived at the House of Correction. BCSO also operates a regional lockup facility at 26 Ash Street in New Bedford, which houses 187 inmates (83% of capacity) who either have been sentenced or are awaiting trial. Finally, BCSO provides police dogs to assist municipalities throughout Bristol County in search and rescue operations.

BCSO received state appropriations of $43,752,046 in fiscal year 2016 and $43,314,526 in fiscal year 2017. During our audit period, the Commonwealth was reimbursed for services BCSO provided to house and transport federal immigration detainees, as indicated below.

Federal ICE Reimbursements

Period

Housing

Transportation

Fiscal Year Total

Fiscal Year 2016

$3,635,506

$596,209

$4,231,715

Fiscal Year 2017

5,742,114

686,940

6,429,054

Fiscal Year 2018
(July 1, 2017–December 31, 2017)

2,207,842

565,189

2,773,031

Total Reimbursements

$11,585,462

$1,848,338

$13,433,800

 

BCSO received additional revenue from the following federal grants.

Program

State
Fiscal Year 2016

State
Fiscal Year 2017

Total

Adult Basic Education Distribution

$192,374

$177,231

$369,605

Families First: Improving Outcomes for Youth in Court

89,891

195,532

285,423

Federal Inmate Reimbursement

0

56,657

56,657

Justice Assistance Grant

39,708

194,928

234,636

State Homeland Security

0

5,874

5,874

Adult Education

246,923

245,680

492,603

Urban Areas Security Initiative

0

0

0

Total

$568,896

$875,902

$1,444,798

1.    Chapter 61 of the Acts of 2009, An Act Transferring County Sheriffs to the Commonwealth, which was enacted on August 6, 2009, transfers, except where specified, all functions, duties, and responsibilities of certain sheriffs’ offices. The transition was completed on January 1, 2010.

Date published: February 13, 2019
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