The state of Massachusetts has only one type of long-term confinement facility, and they are state prisons. There are sixteen state prisons in Massachusetts. Some of these facilities act as pre-release centers to help inmates readjust to life outside of prison before they are let go. Others have hospital components for mentally ill inmates and those in need of substance abuse treatment or other medical issues. Each prison has a specific number of beds, serves a certain demographic (men/women) and includes varying degrees of custody.
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections is the government agency in charge of all correctional facilities, systems, and Massachusetts state prison inmate records. They have a handy inmate locator feature on their website so the public can perform a Massachusetts state prison inmate search at any time 24/7. Their motto is: “We provide custody, care, and programming for those under our supervision to prepare them for safe and successful reentry into the community.”
The Massachusetts DOC provides a plethora of resources for families and friends of inmates. Along with an inmate locator, they explain how to visit, send money or gifts, and set up phone call privileges. They also have resources for victims of inmates held in state prison.
The correctional system in Massachusetts provides a lot of programs and services for inmates in state prison. Some of the offerings include:
For the past five years, the prison population in Massachusetts has declined. Currently, there are about 9,200 people in state prison in Massachusetts. The majority are held in medium-security units, with approximately 1,700 in maximum security and 1,200 in minimum-security units. More than 94% of them are males, the rest females. The average age of the inmates is 37–42. About 70% of them committed violent offenses, and 95% are serving more than three years. Roughly 31% have a mental illness, and 7% came in with serious mental illness. The offender population is made up of mostly of these three top races in order: white, black, and Hispanic.