Massachusetts Department of Correction

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Massachusetts Department of Correction
Abbreviation DOC
Massachusettes DOC.jpg
Patch of the Massachusetts Department of Correction
Agency overview
Formed 1919
Superseding agency Massachusetts Department of Public Safety
Employees 5,200
Annual budget $520 Million
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Massachusetts, US
Map of USA MA.svg
Map of Massachusetts Department of Correction's jurisdiction.
Size 7,840 square miles (20,300 km2)
Population 6,587,536 (2011 est.)[1]
Legal jurisdiction Commonwealth of Massachusetts
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Milford, Massachusetts
Correction Officers 4,000
Civilians 1,200
Agency executives
  • Thomas Turco, Commissioner
  • Michael G. Grant, Deputy Commissioner of Administration
  • Thomas E. Dickhaut, Deputy Commissioner of Prison Division
  • Katherine Chmiel, Deputy Commissioner of Classification, Programs, & Re-entry
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)

K9 Team

Inner Perimeter Security (IPS)

Radio Communications Unit

Honor Guard Unit

Firearms Unit

Gang Intelligence Unit

Fugitive Apprehension Unit

Office of Investigative Services (OIS)

Communications Division
State Prisons 17

Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

Ford E-Series Van
K9 Teams

Golden Retriever

German Shepherd
* 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 in the United States. The Massachusetts Department of Correction is responsible for the custody of about 10,000 inmates (as of January 2016) throughout 17 correctional facilities [2] and employs over 5,200 employees (about 4,000 of whom are sworn correctional officers). The Massachusetts Department of Correction also has a fugitive apprehension unit, a gang intelligence unit, a K9 Unit, a Special Reaction Team (SRT), and a Tactical Response Team (TRT). Both of these tactical units are highly trained and are paramilitary in nature. The Massachusetts DOC is the largest law enforcement agency in the state of Massachusetts with a staff of 5,200, about 4,000 of whom are sworn correction officers. The agency is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts and currently headed by Commissioner Thomas Turco.[3]

Mission Statement[edit]

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.[4]

Officer Rank Structure[edit]

Only the ranks of Captain and below wear uniforms, the ranks and insignia are as shown below.[5]

Title Insignia
Deputy Commissioner
Assistant Deputy Commissioner
Deputy Superintendent
Deputy Director
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
Baltimore Police Sergeant Insignia.svg
Correction Officer

Correctional Facilities[edit]

see List of Massachusetts state correctional facilities

Security Levels[edit]

The following security levels are utilized by the Massachusetts Department of Correction.[6]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Prison overcrowding rates[edit]

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 January 1, 2016 was 123%. Currently, North Central Correctional Institution is the most overcrowded prison in the system at a 170% overcrowding rate.

Inmate Demographics[edit]

  • White (4,653)- 44%
  • Black (2,947)- 28%
  • Hispanic (2,964)- 25%
  • Asian (137)- 1%
  • Native American/Alaskan (63)- 0.7%
  • Other (123)- 1.0%
  • Male (9,906)- 93%
  • Female (712)- 7%

Correction Officer Training Academy[edit]

The Department of Correction'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, suicide prevention, security 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 seventeen correctional facilities to be further trained by a Field Training Officer (FTO). The field training program is similar to the type of training police departments use to train new police officers.

Fallen Officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, 14 officers have died in the line of duty. The most recent line of duty death was in 1998 at MCI-Shirley.[7]


The Massachusetts Department of Correction's headquarters is located in Milford, Massachusetts.

50 Maple Street, Suite 3

Milford, MA 01757

(508) 422-3300

See also[edit]


External links[edit]