The primary mission of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department
is dedication to strengthening public safety through corrections
and specialized support services for all criminal justice agencies.
The Department maintains a secure facility for offenders being
held or sentenced for crimes as well as preparing them for reintegration
back into society.
County Correctional Facility provides a safe, humane and orderly
correctional environment which encourages inmates to seek opportunities
to strengthen their character. Inmates are presented with activities
to aid them in developing a work ethic, religion, education and
understanding the consequences of their own choices.
is committed to operating an accredited correctional facility
recognized standards for local houses of correction, jails &
and local standards
the interests of taxpayers
It is the
philosophy of the Sheriff's Department to hold the offender at
the lowest possible levels of security, consistent with public
safety, with an appropriate range of services that recognize the
individual needs of offenders.
of the Department mission is to protect society from criminal
offenders while at the same time providing a professional and
rewarding environment for staff.
CREDIT: Ryan Richardson of the Wareham Currier
ADS Melvin Sprague
explains the 50 member Tactical Response Team that is charged
with quelling incidents inside the Correctional Facility.
To watch Video
|A recent training of the Tactical Response Move Team.
To Watch Video
Read portions of one reporter’s story on PCCF:
Inside The County Jail
By Lydia Mulvany of the Marshfield Mariner
Tue Apr 29, 2008
is laid out along a “spine,” a long hallway that looks
and smells uncomfortably clean, off of which 23units housing 1,600
men are joined — the largest inmate population under one
roof in Massachusetts. There’s little traffic along the
spine in a day, and the sound of footsteps disturbs the quiet.
Any opening of doors — always gaily colored in bright blues
or reds — or elevators is controlled by central control,
a small, dark room full of computers, cameras and buttons that
looks a little like something from the “Enterprise”
on “Star Trek.” The doors are thick, and slide slowly
open after permission is granted.
live in either 139- or 62-man units, where tiers of cells surround
a large, common room with two-storied ceilings. The cells don’t
have bars, but heavy doors with a thick, solid window. They are
tiny and monastic, with metal bunk beds and bare, faded white
walls, chipped paint, a shared metal toilet in the corner and
a seat like a flat metal spoon sticking out from the wall, underneath
a writing surface.
County Correctional Facility opened its doors in 1994, and houses
multiple jurisdictions: county, state, federal, Department of
Youth Services and immigration inmates. There are also inmates
with different levels of security. Asst. Superintendent Antone
Moniz said the prison operates under a philosophy similar to community
policing in that the days where the jailkeeper dragged his keys
clanking over the bars as he policed the hall are over, replaced
by officers in the pods milling with the inmates.
good officer will walk into his pod and know the pulse of it,”
common room, the inmates move freely about from 9 to 11 a.m.,
1 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. The population is desegreated, and
the atmosphere is lively and crowded. Inmates sit and chat in
shabby lounge chairs watching the news on a small television,
do pull-ups below the dark green stairwells and play chess or
basketball on the recreation deck, a shaded outside area bound
by chain-link fences and barbed coils. There is a line of showers
near the entrance and a line of payphones under the television.
At noon, the inmates eat at picnic-style tables in the pods. The
jail serves 6,000 meals per day.
is a small canteen where prisoners can buy anything from Colgate
toothpaste ($3.25 for 4.2 ounces) to Ramen noodles (50 cents)
to a bag of Twizzlers ($1). Items that could be turned into weapons
have been modified for prison: the toothbrushes are the kind you
slip onto your finger.
almost like a small town,” said jail spokesman John Birtwell.
“We have priests, an imam, a rabbi, doctors, dentists, even
down the spine is the administrative segregation unit, a prison
within prison where inmates are locked up alone 23 hours a day.
are there for their own protection, for instance, if they have
cooperated with the government and would be labeled “snitches”
need to make sure the inmates come out as healthy as them come
in,” Moniz said.
parts of the jail are the booking department, where inmates are
interviewed and classified, their fingerprints taken and irises
scanned; the transportation department, which transports 100 to
200 inmates a day to court and other appointments; the kitchen,
where inmates cook food for the jail; a small library where GED
classes are held; a gym for volleyball, basketball and general
recreation; and an orientation unit where new inmates are educated
about life in jail before going in.
Joe McDonald Jr. said he had no worries about the operations of
the prison, and he is proud of the many programs the prison offers
inmates such as the 90-acre farm where inmates learn bout agriculture
and the print shop, where inmates print and embroider T-shirts.
very proud of the correctional staff,” McDonald said. “This
is the toughest beat in law enforcement, and I sleep well knowing
our staff is here. They’re the best in the business.”