About Massachusetts Department of Correction
Massachusetts Department of Correction plays the role of running the state's prison system. It oversees the custody, care, and treatment of adults in the all the correctional facilities across the state. The DOC is responsible for the custody of approximately 8000 inmates spread across 15 correctional facilities. Additionally, it has over 4500 employees, making it the 5th largest state agency in Massachusetts. Among these employees, approximately 3000 are sworn, correctional officers.
The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections is to enhance public safety by incarcerating convicts and providing them with chances to participate in effective programs aimed to minimize recidivism while maintaining public safety.
The appointment of the director is the governor's role, with the advice and consent of the executive council. He serves for a term of four years. The current director is Commissioner Carol Mici.
Additionally, the facility has four security levels. These levels determine the type of facilities. As such, there are maximum, minimum, medium facilities, as well as prerelease facilities. The DOC also has some special units such as gang intelligence, K9, and Special Reaction Teams, which are well trained and operate in a paramilitary capacity.
The Department has its headquarters in Milford.
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections provides vital health care services to inmates. This includes a dentist and optometric services. Moreover, the DOC's medical team prioritizes ensuring that every inmate receives emergency care when they need it. They do this by providing on-call 24/seven services at each facility with an Emergency Room Nurse, who works closely with an ER doctor from outside the Department whenever necessary. This ensures patients are always attended to quickly and efficiently. In addition, all facilities have infirmaries where inmates can go for minor issues, like colds or flu symptoms, rather than waiting in line at the nurse's office during scheduled hours.
Furthermore, the Department has a care management program where every inmate undergoes a thorough physical exam upon entering the system. They are then assigned to an appropriate level of care based on medical history and current needs. Hence, inmates receive personalized treatment plans for any chronic health issue they may have, including diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease. They also monitor each patient's progress closely through regular visits.
Inmate Mental Health Services
For many inmates, life behind bars is emotionally draining. This can lead to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Such conditions require specialized treatment plans, and the DOC has that covered too. Mental health staff at each facility provide therapy sessions for all patients who need them in addition to prescribing medications if necessary.
They also work closely with outside psychiatrists whenever possible, especially when it comes to more severe cases of mental illness requiring long-term management. Finally, the facility has a Behavioral Health Unit within Bridgewater State Hospital. It offers comprehensive psychiatric care 24/seven for those suffering from severe disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
High-Risk Offender Program-DDU
This program is available at the MCI Cedar. It serves inmates in the Departmental Disciplinary Unit (DDU) due to acts such as:
- Staff or fellow inmates' assault.
- Engagement in gang activities
- Chronic disruptive behavior and are seen as a threat to the institution's peace.
The program aims to ensure that the inmates are ready for reintegration when the time comes and participate in more intense programs upon their release. Further, the program applies a cognitive-behavioral treatment model where inmates engage mainly in solo workbook tasks and small group exercises.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction offers a variety of educational programs to inmates. These programs are designed to help inmates with job training and skills development, increasing their chances for success after incarceration. The DOC offers Adult Basic Education, Pre-Adult Secondary Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English as a Second Language. They also offer vocational training in fields such as carpentry and furniture refinishing.
MassCor Correctional Industries
These industries have a mission of instilling a positive work ethic in offenders. They achieve this by training and giving inmates work skills to help them get employment opportunities upon completion of their prison terms.
In addition, these Industries strive to provide the highest level of customer service possible by producing high-quality products that are competitive in the market. These industries also help the inmates develop work discipline, which helps them reintegrate into society more successfully.
Releasees with on-the-job training and work ethics have a better chance of finding meaningful employment and achieving success following their release.
Certification programs already in effect and those that may be implemented are made accessible to all qualified jailed persons. A total of 450 inmates are employees at the industries, which operate at eight facilities. Moreover, the workforce work with modern quality equipment, which ensures they stay competitive in the market.
The objective is to utilize the greatest number of offenders while also making the most efficient use of program resources. As a result, MassCor has developed several programs and certifications within the industries. They provide offenders with the opportunity to learn marketable skills and a higher chance of finding work in our communities. Hence, there is a general decrease in the likelihood of recidivism.
Food Service Training
The Food Service Training program exposes offenders to the food and hospitality business. It also allows them to learn about the different employment prospects available in the field of hospitality. Inmates learn the knowledge and technical skills necessary for employment in hospitality after incarceration. They acquire these skills through both classroom instruction and hands-on practice under an instructor's supervision. Students also have the chance to achieve the nationally renowned ServSafe certification from the DOC at no cost.
This program is available at MCI-Cedar Junction as well as the Massachusetts Treatment Center.
Wheelchair Repair Program
The Wheelchair Repair program teaches inmates how to disassemble, repair, and reassemble wheelchairs and scooters. It is a 9-month program whose intention is to prepare inmate students to be competitive for jobs such as durable medical equipment technicians, assemblers, or quality control specialists upon release. It is available to MCI-Shirley inmates.
Family Preservation Program
This program encourages mother-child bonding, connection development, and communication. It provides a wide variety of services, including:
- Parenting support.
- Parental education programs
- Preparation for children's visits.
- Coordination and referrals to relevant resources.
- Preparation for particular activities.
Moreover, the program collaborates with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). This collaboration is necessary as offenders whose children are under DCF's care can have some time to bond with them.
There are two locations where this program is available: MCI Framingham and the South Middlesex Correctional Center (SMCC). The SMCC has a Family Reunification House, which serves as a place for visitors to stay overnight and on weekends.
Parenting education graduates are eligible to undergo evaluation for participation in the Family Reunification House program after completing the course requirements. Moreover, the program helps mothers whose release date is close to having more unsupervised contact with their children.
First Step program
This program is under the vendor's facilitation. It is available for women awaiting trial or those under those already incarcerated for 90 days or less. It offers these inmates voluntary drug misuse treatment services.
Most of the program's participants are usually in need of rapid detoxification and further treatment. Components of the program include a 20-day program of lessons on drug misuse education, overdose and relapse prevention, and interpersonal skill development. In addition, the program provides a personalized aftercare planning component. This component is necessary to assist program participants in choosing community-based treatment options necessary upon release. MCI-Framingham is the only facility that offers this program.
Massachusetts DOC Inmate Search
Massachusetts DOC offender locator process involves the use of VINELink. There is no state prisoner lookup website in particular like the rest of the states. Those using VINELink can either access it through the website or use their phones. The requirement for using this website is an inmate's full name and the commitment number. Interested individuals can access the online VINELink services through this link.
Alternatively, a person can call the VINELink support and inquire about an inmate. The contact details are available here.