Security and Facility Operations
Massachusetts currently has 13 jails and houses of correction. These facilities hold pre-trial detainees and sentenced offenders with sentences of 2½ years or less. The responsibility for the operation of these facilities was given to the Sheriffs by the Massachusetts legislature in 1699. In addition to pre-trial and sentenced offenders, many Sheriff’s Offices also hold pre-arraignment arrestees. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is among those. By establishing and maintaining a local correctional system, Massachusetts is uniquely positioned to provide an array of programs and services to inmates to assist them is preparing and successfully re-entering the community.
The primary mission of a House of Correction is to provide inmates with the programs and services to change and improve their lives. This work cannot be done without a strong and effective Security Division providing an orderly and safe environment within the facility.
The Security Division of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is made up of over 85 uniformed Correctional Officers whose sole responsibility is to provide for the care and custody of the inmates in their care. The Security Division is supported in their work by the Tactical Response Team and the K-9 Unit.
These Officers monitor the Inmate Housing Units, provide security in classrooms where inmates are involved in educational services, and provide safe passage as inmates move throughout the facility.
Correctional Officers operate the Central Control Room, monitoring the entire facility 24-hours per day, dispatching vans transporting inmates to court, as well as deputies in the field serving warrants.
The unit is responsible for a facility wide tool control program which establishes guidelines for standardized tool control. Further, the unit is responsible for the storage, use and control of flammable, toxic and caustic materials in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and standards relative to the Massachusetts Right-to-Know Law, M.G.L, c.111F.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit is responsible for all major internal investigations that must be conducted within the agency in order to ensure safety and security. This includes probes of inmate and staff conduct. The unit maintains a close and proactive association with outside law enforcement regarding both internal and external criminal activity that may have an impact on the Office.
As part of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office commitment to safety and security, the unit is also responsible on a continual basis for ensuring compliance within the institution with the agency’s Administrative Directives and General Orders. These Directives and General Orders, which govern the Sheriff’s Office daily functions, also set out strict requirements for the security measures that are to be maintained by the facility. The unit utilizes on site audits and unannounced visits at the facility as performance measures against the applicable Directives and General Orders.
The unit is also responsible for obtaining information through random and targeted monitoring of inmate telephone conversations. All inmate calls are subject to be monitored and recorded. The vital information gathered from these telephone conversations is utilized in a proactive manner to ensue the safety, security and order of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. In addition the information is used to detect and prevent criminal activity occurring outside of the facility, providing a benefit to public safety.
This unit provides more than 245,000 meals per year to meet the varied nutritional needs of the incarcerated population within the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Through innovative initiatives and the aggressive search for economic food purchases, the unit produces three meals a day for each inmate at a low total cost. The unit also provides wholesome and nutritious meals for special therapeutic and religious menus. The food service staff offers a food safety training program to the inmates to prepare for gainful employment upon completion of their incarceration.
This unit regulates the amount and type of property authorized for retention by inmates in order to maintain security, safety and sanitation, and to ensure the accountability of personal property stored at the facility. The unit is equipped with a conveyor, carts, tables, racks and equipment which make it possible to maintaining an up-to-date inventory. The unit is also responsible for the disposition of excess, unauthorized and abandoned property.
This unit is responsible to provide inmates with clean and suitable clothing, linen and bedding, as well as on-site service for regular laundering. Each housing unit is provided with a schedule of laundry pick up, washing and the return of laundered items. The unit also provides a monthly blanket exchange and services for contaminated laundry.
This unit is responsible for the preventative maintenance and cleanliness of the vehicles assigned to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office fleet. Inmates assigned to this unit perform oil changes, tune ups and brakes, as well as routine and diagnostic testing to determine the origin of problems.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Auto Detailing program is a grant funded, vocational program designed to teach inmates a marketable skill. Six months in length, the program offers eight weeks of training followed by a four month practicum. Students are supervised by certified mechanics/officers, who were trained at the Detail King Auto Detailing Training Institute; Pittsburg, PA. The course work consists of interior and exterior cleaning, as well as reconditioning. In order to graduate from the course, participants must show a mastery of auto detailing specifics.
Initial coursework is focused on operational issues designed to teach the student evaluation techniques for reconditioning. Some of the information imparted is how to determine paint type and condition, evaluation of acid rain damage and environmental fallout, evaluation for oxidation damage and the base coat/clear coat process and how to protect the paint. Secondly, students are introduced to equipment and products used in the auto detailing business including polishers and cleaners, orbital polishers, variable speed buffers and the use of the heated soil extractor.
Lastly, the students are taught chemical and equipment overview that teaches them how to use various equipment and the correct methods and steps for detailing a car. They learn about polishes, glazes, compounds, sealants, soaps and degreasers. Additionally they learn about brushes for scrubbing, washing and detailing, as well as dressing and wax applicators. Finally they learn the use of electric, gas and pneumatic equipment.
Throughout the coursework, students are taught about professionalism, customer service and basic business concepts. To graduate the program, they are responsible for detailing several automobiles on their own, as well as displaying mastery of concepts and operations.
Inmates are eligible for the program by determining the severity of their charges, past criminal history and their behavior while incarcerated. All inmates in the program are designated "minimum security" which means they have not committed an assaultive felony, they have participated in programs, and they have exhibited "model inmate" behavior. A stipend of the cost charged goes into the inmate's savings account enabling him to save for housing upon release, pay fines and court costs, and help support his family while incarcerated. This vocational program is self-sustaining by fees and receives no money from the Sheriff's budget.
This unit is responsible for the maintenance of records of all committed offenders, including mittimuses, writs of habeas corpus, inmate files, police and probation reports, incident and disciplinary reports, CORI-A information, Classification information, DNA data base, Sexual Offender Registry and Victim Notification. The unit computes sentences and awards good time under Chapter 127, Section 129D for all sentenced inmates, processes warrants and summonses and prepares reports with regard to admissions and release of all committed offenders.
This unit has the responsibility to maintain a two-way radio network licensed by the Federal Communication Commission and is used for routine and emergency use. The facility is equipped with hand-held units as well as mobile units.
In 2011, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office started its K9 Unit. Lieutenant Scott Waldron was assigned the position and the search for a K9 began. After extensive research, including local and state wide K9 Units, the Sheriff’s Office decided to work with the Boston Police Department’s K9 Unit’s master K9 trainer Troy Caisey. K9 Drago, a German Shepherd, was chosen from Czech Republic and brought to the United States in September 2011. Lieutenant Scott Waldron and K9 Drago attended patrol training September 21, 2011 and successfully completed the training January 6, 2012. On February 3, 2012, Lieutenant Scott Waldron and K9 Drago started narcotics training in Boston, MA, which was successfully completed on March 14, 2012. Certifications also achieved are USPCA and NAPWDA Standards.
Lieutenant Waldron and K9 Drago have become a highly successful resource for the daily operations at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. To date, the Franklin County Sheriff’s K9 Unit has assisted local police departments in motor vehicle narcotic searches, participated in several missing person searches, and has assisted in search warrant apprehensions.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit is proud to serve all towns of Franklin County.