In the fall of 2001, at the request of Suffolk County Sheriff Richard Rouse, the Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift appointed a Special Commission to investigate and report on the operations and management of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and the jail facilities under its control. The ...
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In the fall of 2001, at the request of Suffolk County Sheriff Richard Rouse, the Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift appointed a Special Commission to investigate and report on the operations and management of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and the jail facilities under its control. The independent investigation came in the wake of serious allegations of inmate abuse, political patronage, lack of leadership and mismanagement. A prior FBI criminal investigation lead led to 2001 indictments in 2001 charging seven officers at the Jail with conspiracy, criminal civil rights violations, obstruction of justice, and perjury in connection with the deliberate use of excessive force and assaults on pre-trial detainees.
The Commission identified systemic deficiencies in the jail operations, which included: (1) the failure of leadership; (2) inadequate hiring and promotion practices; (3) the strain in labor/management relations and poor staff morale; (4) the absence of fully merged institutions; (5) inadequate training; (6) a disconnect between seemingly well-conceived policies and actual practice; and (7) a lack of internal and external accountability.
To correct the deficiencies, the Commission made the following specific recommendations:
(1) The Department must develop and implement a process for conducting internal audits of compliance with policies and procedures.
(2) The Department should develop performance measures to help officials assess whether policies and procedures are directed at achieving the desired outcomes.
(3) Key managers should regularly review and analyze important statistics about the Department.
(4) Facility administrators should be held accountable for performance at their institutions.
(5) The Sheriff should establish an ongoing inspection program for each facility.
(6) The Department should encourage more external influences.
(7) The Sheriff should report to the public on the Department's progress in addressing the Findings and Recommendations in this Report.
Those wishing to learn more about the investigation are encouraged to read the Report of the Special Commission on the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, JC-MA-0012-0001 of this collection.Dan Dalton - 02/22/2008