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Women's History Month: Sheriff Buckley

Updated: Apr 2


Sheriff Donna Buckley poses as the first female sheriff in Barnstable County.

As we celebrate Women's History Month, we reflect on the remarkable achievements of those who have shattered barriers and blazed trails for generations to come. Among these trailblazers stands Barnstable County Sheriff Donna Buckley. 


Born and raised in Peabody, Sheriff Buckley became the second female sheriff in the state and the first in Barnstable County. Sheriff Buckley received her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School. Before assuming her role as Barnstable County Sheriff, Sheriff Buckley carved out an impressive legacy as a legal practitioner and educator.  


She began her career as the in-house counsel for the National Association of Government Employees/International Brotherhood of Police Officers. After running the Law Office of Donna DeSimone Buckley for nine years, she worked at the Massachusetts Teachers Association delivering legal services to the members of the teachers’ union in the areas of collective bargaining, grievances, arbitrations, and employment disputes. Sheriff Buckley taught Criminal Law and related courses at Massasoit Community College in Brockton and Massachusetts Bay Community College in Framingham. In 2018, Sheriff Buckley's journey came full circle when she became the general counsel for the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office. It was a pivotal moment that set the stage for her historic election as the first female sheriff in Barnstable County's 331-year history. 


During her first year, Sheriff Buckley’s team created the Women's Therapeutic Treatment Program or WTTP, an all-inclusive program for the female housing unit. It includes a variety of topics such as addiction, criminal behavior, anger management, parenting skills, employment readiness, health-related issues, domestic violence, financial management, mental health disorders, and co-occurring conditions. 


"I ran for this office because I saw a critical need for change, and the voters agreed with me,” said Sheriff Buckley. “My election gives me hope that values and hard work will draw voters to candidates rather than preconceived notions and gender stereotypes." 


As Sheriff, Donna Buckley embodies a vision of inclusivity and compassion. She believes in providing pathways to rehabilitation for those who are incarcerated, recognizing the interconnectedness of incarcerated individuals, their families, and the community. 

Sheriff Buckley's journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. There's no doubt Sheriff Buckley is crafting a lasting legacy, inspiring generations to come with her unwavering dedication to service. 

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