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Overview of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office (2019)

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

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The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office (NSO) was established as a state agency on January 1, 2010, pursuant to Chapter 61 of the Acts of 2009. This act transferred to the Commonwealth, except where specified, all functions, duties, and responsibilities of NSO and the other six County Sheriff’s Offices that still existed, including assets, liabilities, debt, and potential litigation. This legislation made the Sheriffs employees of the Commonwealth; however, they are still elected officials with administrative and operational control of their offices.

According to NSO’s website, its mission is as follows:

The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office serves the citizens of Norfolk County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by enhancing public safety through the operation of a safe, secure, and humane correctional facility that establishes structure and accountability for offenders and focuses on re-entry programs and community based programs that promote crime prevention, citizen awareness, education, youth development, elderly assistance and law enforcement support. These efforts are accomplished by a highly trained and dedicated workforce and through collaborative agreements with public and private stakeholders.

Norfolk County includes 28 cities and towns1 with a combined population of approximately 700,000 people.

NSO has received accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA) for the past 21 years. ACA is a national body involved in the development of standards for the correctional field. The accreditation certifies that NSO has met established standards, including standards for facility administration, accountability, safety, and overall confinement conditions.

As of December 31, 2017, there were 341 employees at NSO. NSO received state appropriations of $30,638,329, $30,331,946, and $30,938,585 for fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. Supplemental funding of $4,631,497, $6,051,119, and $3,967,380 was received for fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

NSO has facilities in three locations: the NSO Correctional Center and Dedham Alternative Center (DAC) in Dedham, the Civil Process Division and Community Corrections Center in Quincy, and the Public Safety Office in Braintree.

NSO Correctional Center and DAC

The NSO Correctional Center, located at 200 West Street in Dedham, houses pretrial and sentenced inmates at its jail and house of correction, respectively. The inmates are classified according to the types of crime they have committed, as well as their criminal backgrounds, and they are housed with similarly classified inmates in units within the facilities. According to inmate counts provided by NSO officials, as of December 31, 2017 the NSO Correctional Center housed 427 inmates.

NSO offers educational programs to inmates, including vocational training, reading enrichment, and financial literacy. It also provides ongoing reentry services that emphasize personal accountability and include mental health and substance use treatment.

DAC, which is located at the NSO Correctional Center campus, is a minimum-security housing unit where some inmates nearing their final release dates are given the opportunity to work in the community under supervision. Inmates who successfully participate in this program may be considered for prerelease living arrangements outside the NSO minimum-security housing unit.

Civil Process Division and Community Corrections Center

NSO’s Civil Process Division is located at 181 Parkingway in Quincy. According to the NSO website,

The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division is a professional law enforcement agency whose responsibility is the delivery of legal services and the enforcement of civil orders in Norfolk County. Our Civil Process Office is responsible for executing court orders and the delivery of legal documents essential to the proceedings of state-wide and county civil cases.

The website describes the Community Corrections Center as follows:

The Norfolk County Community Corrections Center is an intermediate sanctions program operated in collaboration with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of Community Corrections, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, Massachusetts Parole and the local district and superior courts.

The intermediate sanctions program (ISP) offers mandated participants2 educational services, vocational instruction, and substance use treatment. To address public safety needs while providing these services, NSO may require participants to submit to random drug testing and electronic monitoring and perform supervised community service. ISPs can help reduce overcrowding in correctional facilities by allowing convicted offenders, with appropriate supervision, to remain in the community while undergoing rehabilitation.

Public Safety Office

The Public Safety Office is located at 2015 Washington Street in Braintree. It hosts a number of NSO administrative employees and a training center. The training center provides classroom instruction and training for newly hired correction officers in addition to annual professional training and staff development for all NSO employees. NSO also runs a Youth Leadership Academy at the Public Safety Office campus that provides activities for youths between the ages of 10 and 14 and focuses on team building, anti-bullying, drug awareness, peer pressure resistance, self-confidence, and personal goal-setting.

1.    The cities and towns are Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Westwood, Weymouth, and Wrentham.

2.    Mandated participants are those who have been ordered by courts to participate in the ISP instead of being jailed.

Date published: February 11, 2019