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Sheriff Cabral's UnCommon Ground on Civil Process

Sheriff Cabral's UnCommon Ground on Civil Process

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Published by Craig Shibley
The following is the second report issued by Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral following the release of the Stern Commission's critical findings back in 2001.
The Blue Ribbon Commission was directed by former US Attorney Donald K. Stern and exposed many systemic problems within the Department.
Of particular note is what Cabral documented specific to the Civil Process Division. see page
The following is the second report issued by Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral following the release of the Stern Commission's critical findings back in 2001.
The Blue Ribbon Commission was directed by former US Attorney Donald K. Stern and exposed many systemic problems within the Department.
Of particular note is what Cabral documented specific to the Civil Process Division. see page

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Published by: Craig Shibley on Dec 11, 2013
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01/09/2014

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Another signifcant achievement during Sheriff Cabral’s frst term is the reform of the Inmate Clas-
sifcation System, which is used to determine housing unit assignments and program eligibility. In

2005, Sheriff Cabral authorized reorganization of the entire structure and developed new policies,
procedures, documentation and forms. A new, point-based assessment tool, that uses factual infor-
mation rather than information reported solely by the inmate, is now used to assess internal security
and recidivism risk and help develop inmate Individual Service Plans. The new system is more
objective and fair. It also allows inmates to earn advancement from maximum to minimum security,
through exemplary institutional behavior and participation in programs.

The new custody assessment system has increased the Department’s ability to distinguish problem
inmates from those more likely to make positive changes in their lives and to manage the custody
of all inmates more effectively. It has also resulted in safer and more cost effective housing options,
better record-keeping and more transparent procedures for inmate discipline, including:

fexible housing assignments that may be easily changed based upon population needs;

transfer of 62, low-risk, non-violent inmates to the Nashua Street Jail to provide them with ad-
ditional opportunities for work inside the institution. It also provides the Jail with a more consis-
tent work force;

creation of Administrative Segregation Units (ASU) and related disciplinary procedures, to
separate the most violent of fenders from general population;

creation of Special Housing Units (SHU) to protect vulnerable inmates and reduce the risk of
gang violence;

streamlined and monitored disciplinary policies and procedures, which create more equitable
sanctions and greater consistency in implementation;

reform of the inmate grievance system; including an oversight committee that includes staff
representation from all Department divisions and a new record-keeping system;

stronger and more professional relationships between security staff and staff in the Custody As-

sessment and Classifcation Division; and

the development of teams and reliable procedures to collect statutorily mandated data, e.g.,

DNA collections, sex offender registrations, restraining orders and restraining order affdavits.

Since the implementation of the Sheriff’s reforms, bi-annual audits by the Department of Correction
have found all areas of the Custody Assessment Division to be in full compliance with the Code of
Massachusetts Regulations. The Department has also been lauded by the State Police CODIS lab
for its efforts in the collection of DNA and is fully compliant with VOCA requirements regarding

victim notifcation and sex offender registration.

Common Ground: A Report of Progress 25

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