HAMPSHIRE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Sheriff Patrick Cahillane
205 Rocky Hill Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Patrick J. Cahillane, 64, was first elected Sheriff of Hampshire County in November 2016. With more than 40 years of public health and safety experience, Sheriff Cahillane has continued to evolve county correctional practices in accordance with state law and the desires of Hampshire County residents, all while navigating the shifting contours of the coronavirus pandemic. Under his progressive leadership, the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office (HSO), has:
Become one of the first facilities in the state to offer Medication-Assisted Treatment for opioid-use disorder (2018), and one of only a handful of county facilities nationwide to become its own federally licensed Opioid Treatment Program (2021);
Earned 100 percent re-accreditation scores from the American Correctional Association (2021) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (2022);
Established the Rocky Hill Re-Entry Collaborative (2021), in partnership with the state Executive Office of Public Safety, a program that provides temporary housing and services to help formerly incarcerated men make a smoother, more secure transition back to their families and communities; and,
Earned the “Emerging Leader” award (2018) from the Children’s Trust, a Boston-based non-profit working to improve the lives of children and families, for his work with the Nurturing Fathers Program. As of the fall of 2021, more than 100 men have graduated from the 13-week program.
In addition to overseeing daily operations at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, the HSO’s Civil Process Division and Community Justice Support Center in Northampton, and the Bridge to the Future House, the HSO’s community-based work-release program, Sheriff Cahillane serves on the State Legislature’s Special Commission to Study the Health and Safety of LGBTQI Prisoners in Correctional Institutions, Jails and Houses of Correction (since 2018), and in 2019 earned a four-year re-accreditation as a Certified Jail Manager from the American Jail Association, making him one of only eight county correctional officials statewide, and the only one from western Massachusetts, to hold this certification.
Patrick immigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 10 and his family settled in Northampton where he attended local schools. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Westfield State College, where he has been an adjunct faculty member in the Criminal Justice Program since 2006, and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England College.
His service to the people of Massachusetts and Hampshire County includes six years in the National Guard and 45 years with the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office, where he has held the positions of Correctional Officer, Senior Officer, Captain, Major in Charge of Security, Deputy Superintendent and Special Sheriff before his election to Sheriff in 2016.
Patrick and his wife Barbara live in Leeds, Massachusetts, where they raised their three daughters, Heather, Erin and Shannon. Patrick enjoys spending time with his family and rescue dog Nina, as well as doing home repairs and helping to educate people on criminal justice topics.
“Showing kindness and respect is not a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of strength and human decency,” Patrick says. “I have never strayed from my belief that public safety is best served when the men the courts place in my care are treated with kindness and respect and offered programming that promotes healing and successful community reintegration.”
History of the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office
The Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, located at 205 Rocky Hill Road in Northampton, is the fifth jail built in the city to serve the 20 communities of Hampshire County.
The first jail in Northampton stood on the west corner of Main and South streets, near the landmark Academy of Music, from 1704-1760 when the facility was sold for 55 shillings. The second jail, built in 1773 on what is now Pleasant Street, served the county until 1800 and was known for housing British soldiers captured during the Revolutionary War when jails in Boston became too crowded.
In 1801, a new jail constructed of stone replaced the wooden facility on the Pleasant Street site. In 1834, this third jail was denounced by a local man named Louis Dwight, who vowed to build a more humane penal institution in Northampton. This paved the way for construction of a fourth new jail, this one located at 50 Union Street. The Union Street facility served the county from 1852-1984 and is now a condominium complex. The current Jail and House of Correction at Rocky Hill Road opened the following year and is named for Sheriff John F. Boyle, who held the office from 1963-1984.
In 1997, an additional housing unit was added to the complex by Sheriff Robert J. Garvey, who served as Sheriff until 2016.
In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, Sheriff Patrick J. Cahillane, the current and 14th Sheriff of Hampshire County, together with state Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, refurbished that building for use as a living and treatment facility, with classrooms and treatment office space, giving staff the flexibility to provide many services in one unit.
“The philosophy articulated by my predecessors, Sheriff Boyle and Sheriff Garvey, are the same as mine,” Sheriff Cahillane said. “The people who come through our doors are human beings and we should help them return to society as better people. I have never strayed from my belief that public safety is best served when the men the courts place in my care are treated with kindness and respect and offered programming that promotes healing and successful community reintegration. Showing kindness and respect is not a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of strength and human decency. There have been many structures over the centuries, but only one guiding principle for corrections in Hampshire County: help men leave our care in better overall health than when they arrived.”