The core mission of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office is to operate the county correctional center and to transport inmates to and from court. But Sheriff Bellotti understands that 21st century corrections requires a multi-pronged approach, and he has instituted programs to make sure inmates become more accountable to society and themselves.
The Norfolk County Correctional Center, which opened in Dedham in 1992, is a modern correctional facility operated under the principles of direct supervision. Under direct supervision, inmates are classified according to the type of crime they committed and their criminal background. They are housed with similarly classified inmates in units within the jail.
The average sentence served at the Norfolk County Correctional Center is approximately 3 months. Sheriff Bellotti recognizes that virtually every Norfolk County inmate will return to his community. Therefore, he has developed an Inmate Re-entry program to prepare them for a successful transition to a law-abiding lifestyle upon their release. The program -- which the Massachusetts Attorney General hailed as a “model for the entire state” – helps inmates find employment, housing and support counseling outside the jail prior to their release so that they don’t just fall back into bad habits when they return to their communities. The Re-entry program also informs local police departments and probation officers about impending releases so that inmates receive post-release supervision. When sex offenders complete their jail terms, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office staff members drive them directly to their local police department to make certain that they register as sex offenders as required by law.
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office encourages inmates to take part in a number of programs designed to prevent them from committing crimes again. Listed below are some of the programs aimed at making them more productive members of society.
Substance Abuse Programs
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office provides substance abuse education to all inmates in need of such help. All new inmates are oriented and informed of available treatment programs, and all housing units have weekly substance abuse meetings and group sessions.
The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program is an intensive 90-day program for motivated inmates, with classes on the topic throughout the course of each day.
Treatment & Self-Help Programs
- Anger management
- Domestic relations
- Sex offender treatment
- Compulsive behavior
- Men’s health
Academic Educational Programs
- Adult basic education
- Reading enrichment program
- General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program
- English as a second language
- College transition program
Vocational Education Programs
- Introduction to computers
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- HVAC electrical
- Culinary Arts
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office also manages an Electronic Incarceration Program. It is a pre-release security program that reintegrates qualified inmates back into the community under the supervision and guidance of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office outreach services staff. Inmates wear an electronic ankle bracelet and are confined to their home or limited to traveling to jobs or counseling sessions. The NCSO’s Electronic Incarceration Program was the first of its kind in New England and only the second in the entire country to be fully accredited by the American Correctional Association.