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Learn About the Sheriff

Sheriff Chris Donelan is currently serving his second term as Franklin County Sheriff. During his tenure, he has remade the Sheriff’s Office from a place where the mission was containment of offenders to what today resembles a locked treatment facility.


Using evidence-based treatment, including mindfulness and DBT, to being one of the first Houses of Corrections in the country to offer Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), Sheriff Donelan’s leadership has made the Franklin County House of Corrections a national model for addiction and mental health treatment.


Sheriff Donelan began his career as a police officer, serving ten years in uniform before leaving police work to become a probation officer. In the Probation Service, he did his first work treating justice involved men with addiction and mental health problems. He worked in the Drug Court and eventually became Probation Officer in Charge of the Franklin County Community Correction Center.


In 2002 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He served four terms in The House with assignments which included time on the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Higher Education Committee and Public Safety Committee.


Christopher Donelan was sworn in as Sheriff of Franklin County by Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray on January 5, 2011.


Sheriff Donelan received his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College and his Masters of Public Administration Degree from American International College. He has three grown children and makes his home with his wife, Maureen, in Greenfield, MA.

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