Massachusetts Department of Correction
|Massachusetts Department of Correction|
|Patch of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.|
|Superseding agency||Massachusetts Department of Public Safety|
|Annual budget||$520 Million|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Massachusetts, US|
|Map of Massachusetts Department of Correction's jurisdiction.|
|Size||7,840 square miles (20,300 km2)|
|Population||6,587,536 (2011 est.)|
|Legal jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Parent agency||Executive Office of Public Safety|
|Specialized Teams||Tactical Response Team (TRT)
Special Response Team (SRT)
Tactical Reaction Team (TRT)
Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT)
High Risk Transportation (HRT)
Central Transportation Unit (CTU)
Inner Perimeter Security (IPS)
Radio Communications Unit
Honor Guard Unit
Gang Intelligence Unit
Fugitive Apprehension Unit
Office of Investigative Services (OIS)
|Vehicles||Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
Ford E-Series Van
|K9 Teams||Golden Retriever|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Massachusetts Department of Correction is responsible for operating the prison system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, US Massachusetts houses over 11,400 inmates (about 1,925 are serving life sentences) throughout 18 correctional facilities  and employs over 5,200 employees (about 4,000 of whom are correctional officers). The MA DOC also has a tactical unit, a fugitive apprehension unit, a gang intelligence unit, a K-9 team, a Special Reaction Team (SRT), and a Tactical Response Team (TRT). Both of these tactical units are highly trained and are paramilitary teams. The Massachusetts DOC is the largest law enforcement agency in the state of Massachusetts with a staff of 5,200, 4,000 of which are sworn officers. The agency is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts and headed by Acting Commissioner Thomas E. Dickhaut who took over for Luis Spencer following his resignation in late July of 2014.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction's mission is to promote public safety by incarcerating offenders while providing opportunities for participation in effective programming designed to reduce recidivism.
Officer Rank Structure
Only the ranks of Captain and below wear uniforms, the ranks and insignia are as shown below.
|Assistant Deputy Commissioner|
The following security levels are utilized by the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
MAXIMUM SECURITY: A custody level in which both design/construction as well as inmate classification reflect the need to provide maximum external and internal control and supervision of inmates primarily through the use of high security parameters and extensive use of internal physical barriers and check points. Inmates accorded this status present serious escape risks or pose serious threats to themselves, to other inmates, to staff, or the orderly running of the institution. Supervision of inmates is direct and constant.
- Maximum Facility: Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Cedar Junction.
MEDIUM SECURITY: A custody level in which design/construction as well as inmate classification reflect the need to provide maximum external and internal control and supervision of inmates. Inmates accorded to this status may present an escape risk or pose a threat to other inmates, staff, or the orderly running of the institution. Supervision remains constant and direct. Through an inmates willingness to comply with institutional rules and regulations, increased job and program opportunities exist.
- Medium Facilities: Old Colony Correctional Center, Bay State Correctional Center, Bridgewater State Hospital, Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Concord, Massachusetts Treatment Center, Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Norfolk, North Central Correctional Institution, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital Correctional Unit, Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Framingham, Massachusetts Alcohol, Substance Abuse Center and Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Shirley.
MINIMUM SECURITY: A custody level in which both the design/construction as well as inmate classification reflect the goal of returning to the inmate a greater sense of personal responsibility and autonomy while still providing for supervision and monitoring of behavior and activity. Inmates within this security level are not considered a serious risk to the safety of staff, inmates or to the public. Program participation is mandated and geared toward their potential reintegration into the community. Access to the community is limited and under constant direct staff supervision.
- Minimum Facilities: Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Plymouth, Boston Pre-Release Center, Northeastern Correctional Center, Pondville Correctional Center, South Middlesex Correctional Center.
PRE-RELEASE: A custody level in which both design/construction as well as inmate classification reflect the goal of restoring to the inmate maximum responsibility and control of their own behavior and actions prior to their release. Direct supervision of these inmates is not required, but intermittent observation may be appropriate under certain conditions. Inmates within this level may be permitted to access the community unescorted to participate in programming to include, but not limited to, work release, educational release, etc.
- Pre-Release Facilities: Boston Pre-Release Center, Northeastern Correctional Center, Pondville Correctional Center, South Middlesex Correctional Center.
Prison overcrowding rates
The overcrowding rate is determined based on the average daily population of the facility divided by the number of beds (design capacity). The total custody overcrowding rate for DOC facilities as of July 1, 2012 was 146%. Currently, MCI-Concord is the most overcrowded prison in the system at a 213% overcrowding rate.
- White (5,003)- 43.9 %
- Black (3,185)- 27.9 %
- Hispanic (2,868)- 25.2 %
- Asian (153)- 1.3 %
- Native American/Alaskan (84)- 0.7 %
- Other (110)- 1.0 %
- Male (10,644)- 93.3 %
- Female (759)- 6.7 %
Correction Officer Training Academy
The DOC's training is conducted at the Shirley Correctional Complex-Training Academy in Shirley, MA. The academy consists of 10-12 weeks of paramilitary type training for new correction officer recruits. (The academy also trains Correctional Program Officers (CPO). Recruits are taught the policies and procedures of the department, self-defense, firearms use, proper handcuffing and restraint techniques, proper emergency vehicle operations, and many other topics. Once a recruit completes the academy he or she is sworn in as a Massachusetts State Correction Officer and is assigned to one of the state's eighteen correctional facilities to be further trained by a Field Training Officer. The field training program is similar to the type of training police departments' use to train new police officers.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction's headquarters is located at:
50 Maple Street, Suite 3
Milford, MA 01757
Phone: (508) 422-3300
- List of law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts
- List of United States state correction agencies
- Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
- Concord Prison Outreach (Private not-for-profit organization)
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the U.S., Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
- Massachusetts Department of Correction facilities list
- "Massachusetts Department of Correction." Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Retrieved on December 7, 2009.
- Massachusetts Department of Correction policies - DOC 100
- Massachusetts Department of Correction policies - DOC 224 Uniforms
- Massachusetts Department of Correction Security Level page
- The Officer Down Memorial Page