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Boston, MA



Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi, President of the Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association releases the following statement on behalf of the Massachusetts Sheriffs on the unjust death of Tyre Nichols. 

January 28, 2023

MSA statement on Tyre Nichol


Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association Elect Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi President, Sheriff Patrick McDermott VP, Sheriff Robert Ogden Association VP

December 9, 2022

MSA Election Press Release, December 9, 2022 (PDF)

Sheriff Cocchi and Sheriff McDermott attend DOJ All Sheriffs’ Authority Meeting in Washington, DC

July 14, 2022

DOJ All Sheriffs' Authority Meeting


AG's Office Issues Warning About Scams Targeting Friends and Family of Incarcerated People



May 2, 2022

Prison Phone Scam Warning, May 2, 2022 (PDF)

Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association Applauds the Work of the Special Commission on Correctional Funding



February 1, 2022

101 Commission Press Release, February 1, 2022 (PDF)

Suffolk County Sheriffs Department

Sheriff Tompkins Stops In For A Conversation, "Java With Jimmy"

Common Ground Publication

Recently, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins joined James Hills for his “Java With Jimmy” video podcast.

During this wide-ranging and in-depth interview, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about everything from his work prior to becoming sheriff; some of the internal and external programs and services offered by his office, updates about “Mass and Cass,” his plans for the future, and much more.

Speaking about some of the many educational and rehabilitative programs that the sheriff’s office makes available to help the men and women who are remanded to the Suffolk County Jail and Suffolk County House of Correction by the courts, Sheriff Tompkins said, “We arecaring for people who are at what is likely their lowest point in their lives with them being in our facilities. We are trying to help our population to improve their station in life with our programming and services so that they can return to society better able to care for themselves and their families.”

Among those programs discussed were: the P.E.A.C.E. Program, a specially-calibrated curriculum that is administered in a unit comprised of men aged eighteen to twenty-five that focuses on impulse control and developing maturity in decision making; Family Matters, a voluntary program under the Division of Reintegration Services at the Suffolk County House of Correction that assists inmates and their families with working towards positive relationships that strengthen the family unit, reunify inmates with their children while incarcerated, and connect families to support services where needed; and others.

Sheriff Tompkins explained that the vast majority of people in custody suffer from either addiction or mental illness, and often, a combination of both.


“Approximately seventy to seventy-five percent of the men and women in our population are struggling with substance use issues,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “About thirty percent have some form of mental illness. A lot of these people shouldn’t be in my facilities, but because of the scarcity of recovery beds and mental health services in the community, they end up incarcerated, where they don’t belong.”

Rounding out the interview, Jimmy asked Sheriff Tompkins about his future goals for the sheriff’s office, his work with members of the Massachusetts Legislature, and about the current status of the encampment that had formed in the streets around the House of Correction and throughout the Newmarket Square area, in addition to several other topics.

You can watch the full interview by visiting:

#javawithJimmy was created in response to the COVID stay home order announced March 24, of 2020 as an informational platform to keep residents informed. Since then, it’s become a platform for everyday people, artists and politicians to actively engage.


Hampden County Sheriffs Department

Out of the Darkness: History of Correction Reform at the Hampden County Sheriff's Department

Out of Darkness Publication

Out of the Darkness, a commemorative hardcover book, chronicles the history of the Hampden County correctional system from the 17th Century through today. The evolution of Massachusetts’ “criminal justice” began in what we now consider the dark age of incarceration.The book focuses on how Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr. and his team of reformers changed the way in which we treat inmates. Over his long and successful career, Ashe led the dramatic transformation of the county’s correctional system which has become a national model for alternative treatment. His successor, Sheriff Nick Cocchi has built upon that legacy and added new progressive programs and community engagement initiatives which have kept the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office in the national forefront.



Sheriff Ashe has spent his life embodying the fundamental principle that all who are willing to work for a second chance ought to receive one. His signature philosophy of “strength reinforced with decency; firmness dignified in fairness” led to countless lives being changed for the better, while resulting in one of the lowest reincarceration rates in the United States.


Anyone who has gotten to know Sheriff Ashe will affirm that he had never been in the business of incarceration, rather his focus was on corrections. His doctrine on correctional supervision was guided by the simple principle that inmates should be held accountable and be positive and productive. The Sheriff long understood that if he were to adequately rehabilitate his inmates, he would need to put together a competent coalition of staff and volunteers who could command the situation, while exemplifying the upmost professionalism.


Throughout his career, Sheriff Ashe’s tireless work has made our community a safer, more ust, caring place. During his tenure, Sheriff Ashe witnessed over 4,600 inmates graduate his educa-tional programs, earning a GED or a high school equivalent diploma. Sheriff Ashe oversaw the inmates in his facilities contribute over 1 mil-lion hours of community service to Hampden County communities.


Sheriff Nick Cocchi has continued Sheriff Ashe’s legacy and policies and added new practices that have kept the Hampden County Correctional System a model for the nation. These men have made the Commonwealth proud while illustrating that the United States is indeed a nation of second chances. I am proud to call them both dear friends.

-Congressman Richard E. NealFirst Congressional District of Massachusetts

Chair, House Committee on Ways and Means

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