MIDDLESEX SHERIFF'S OFFICE
As a prosecutor, legislator, professor, and law enforcement leader, Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian has worked on the leading issues in public safety and public health throughout his career.
Sheriff Koutoujian holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a law degree from the New England School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University. He maintains his academic involvement by continuing to teach criminal justice and leadership courses at several New England area institutions.
While a state representative, Peter Koutoujian oversaw Massachusetts’ healthcare priorities as Chairman of the Committee on Health Care. He advocated for families and frontline workers on issues of mental health, school nutrition, nursing, opioid and tobacco use, suicide awareness, domestic violence prevention, pandemic response, crime profiteering, rape by fraud, and more. He also created and led the state’s first Commission on Oxycontin and Other Drug Abuse as well as the Commission to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities just as these issues were beginning to emerge as crises in public health. His relationships with medical professionals, advocates, and those with lived experience helped drive legislation that made Massachusetts a national leader in healthcare, and inspired the philosophy of service he brought to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.
As sheriff, Peter Koutoujian’s use of specialty units has reimagined the correctional landscape. By targeting treatment towards unique populations such as young adults and military veterans, these programs have directly and substantially reduced recidivism in their participants. These results have been published in academic journals, featured by national news outlets, and labeled as best practices by multiple presidential administrations.
More importantly, Sheriff Koutoujian’s commitment to data-driven research has made these programs and their results replicable across the country. In light of his commitment to the profession, Sheriff Koutoujian was elected by his statewide and national peers to serve as both the President of Major County Sheriffs of America and the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association.
Sheriff Koutoujian proudly works with several national organizations on issues essential to public health & safety. He serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s First Responder Network Authority, the Executive Committee for the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, and the Advisory Board for the States United Democracy Center.
Sheriff Koutoujian has also earned honors as one of the nation’s most prominent Armenian-American officials, including the U.S. Ellis Island Medal of Honor as well as the Mkhitar Gosh Medal and Medal of Gratitude from the Armenian government.
While the Sheriff still lives in his hometown of Waltham, he enjoys traveling to his wife’s hometown in Madrid, Spain with Elizabeth and their three children: Peter, Cristian, and Isabel.
History of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office
Established in 1692, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States.
Entrusted with full law enforcement capabilities, the MSO provides care and custody of both pre-trial and sentenced men, as well as women classified to the office's pre-release center. These functions are carried out at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction in Billerica.
Under the leadership of Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian (2011 – present), the MSO is today recognized as a national leader for its innovative correctional-based treatment programming.
The Middlesex Jail & House of Correction is home to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ only housing unit for military veterans (HUMV); the first specialty unit for young adult offenders (ages 18-24); and the Medication Assisted Treatment And Directed Opioid Recovery (MATADOR) Program. All three initiatives have demonstrated an ability to reduce recidivism among program participants.
In addition to these ground-breaking initiatives, the MSO provides a wide range of additional programs aimed at helping individuals address the factors that led to their arrest and incarceration. These programs include educational, vocational and behavioral health treatment.
The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office dedication to public safety does not stop at the walls of the institution. The MSO makes available to the 54 cities and towns of Middlesex County any and all resources that may enhance public safety. We have forged partnerships with local, state and federal authorities to organize and ensure these resources are available whenever and wherever needed. Members of the MSO also participate in the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC).
Additionally, the MSO operates its own Training Academy in Chelmsford, as well as administrative and Civil Process Division offices in Medford.