Legal Services Division

legalAs an essential part of its daily operations, Office of the General Counsel maintains under its jurisdiction the Legal Services Division, with one office at the Suffolk County Jail and another at the House of Correction.

It is the mission of Inmate Legal Services at the Jail to maintain the Bail Appeal Project to ensure that Jail detainees exercise their statutory right to a bail appeal pursuant to M.G.L. c. 276 §58. Inmate Legal also argues bail appeals for selected pretrial detainees. Bail appeal hearings take place at the Jail, via a videoconferencing system with the Suffolk Superior Court, which was established to reduce cost and more easily facilitate bail appeals for offenders.

In addition, the Office of Inmate Legal Services provides legal research, upon written request, for inmates who remain in custody during their trial. Inmate Legal also processes legal requests, provides notary services and handles detainee commitments to Bridgewater State Hospital for 30–day psychiatric evaluation under M.G.L. c. 123 §18(A).

The mission of Inmate Legal Services office at the House of Correction is to assist incarcerated individuals in acquiring reasonable access to their counsel, the courts and governmental authorities regarding their post–conviction matters and conditions of incarceration. The office also works with external agencies on behalf of inmates.

The Massachusetts General Law Authorizing Statutes that guide the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department are as follows:

  • Provisions of County Jail, MGL c. 34 s.3
  • Election, Term of Sheriff, MGL c. 37, s. 1, MGL 54, s.159
  • Custody and Control of Jails, MGL c.125 s.1
  • Transportation of Prisoners MGL c.37 s.24-25
  • Compliance with Correctional Standards, MGL c.127 s. 1a-1b
  • Detention of Prisoners from other Counties MGL. 279 s.38
  • Medical Care for Prisoners, MGL 127 s. 177a
  • Custody of Prisoners, MGL. C248, s.18
  • Obligation to Provide House of Correction, MGL 34, s. 3
  • Power to Build, Repair. MGL 34. S.14
  • Obligation to Receive Inmates Committed, MGL. C. 268, s. 20
  • County Commissioners of Suffolk County, MGL. C.34, s.4
  • Inspection, Operation, Supervision, etc. MGL c. 126, MGL c. 127, s 1a-10, 169
  • Regulations, 3 CMR 900l CMR 451-459, MGL c.6, s167-178, 803 CMR 2-6
  • Powers and Duties, CDC St. 12. S.350-357, CBC Ord. 12, s. 350-353
  • Deeds Excise, MGL c. 64d