Massachusetts Inmate Records
Massachusetts inmate records are official documents containing personal and administrative information about individuals incarcerated in correctional and detention facilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Personal inmate records include identifying information such as name, gender, age, race, booking photo, and inmate number. Administrative records provide details of inmates' arrival, stay, and release from Massachusetts correctional facilities. Per the Massachusetts Public Records Law, residents may view and obtain copies of inmate records as long as the documents are non-confidential.
Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:
- The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
- The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.
Facilities Operated by the Massachusetts Correctional System
The Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC) manages the state's prisons and oversees the operations of 16 correctional institutions across the state. Persons who wish to see the physical address and contact information of these facilities may check the Massachusetts prisons directory.
Besides the state prisons controlled by MADOC, Massachusetts also has several county, city, and town jails. Some counties also have Houses of Correction used for housing pretrial detainees and individuals awaiting sentencing. Jails, on the other hand, are facilities run by local law enforcement agencies, such as sheriff offices and local police departments.
How to Send Money to an Inmate in Massachusetts Prison and Jail
The MADOC provides different methods of sending money to inmates in state prisons. Relatives of inmates can use a third-party vendor, Access Corrections, to deposit money online, by phone, or by mail.
Relatives and friends of Inmates can pay online by signing up with Access Corrections. The vendor also provides a downloadable smartphone app for Apple and Android users. Call-in payments are available by dialing (866) 345-1884. The toll-free line is active 24/7 in English and Spanish. Depositors can only use credit and debit cards for online and call-in payments. Secure Deposits by Access Corrections allows mail-in payments for individuals that want to deposit money to inmates. To use this service, parties can send a completed check or money order slip to:
Secure Deposits - Massachusetts DOC
P.O. Box 12486
St. Louis, MO 63132
Apart from weekends and holidays, checks and money orders are cleared within 48 hours of receipt. After the transfer is finalized, the check payments are held for ten days before being forwarded to the MADOC for crediting to the prisoner's fund. The MADOC makes the funds accessible to the inmate the following day. Depositors can obtain the money order or check deposit forms in prison lobbies on the Access Corrections website for customers to download.
The MADOC allows and processes in-person and mail-in payments. State prisons provide drop boxes labeled 'Inmate Funds' either at the entrance of prison or drop-off locations across the state.
State prisons are under the management of the MADOC, while county sheriffs manage county and city jails. As such, the process of sending money to inmates in county jails may be different from sending money to inmates in state prisons. While some county jails use Access Corrections like the MADOC, others offer various vendors to deposit money for inmates online.
How to Visit an Inmate in Massachusetts Prison and Jail
Visitors to Massachusetts prisons are advised to read the rules and guidelines for visiting inmates. Violation of these rules may lead to the cancellation of visiting privileges. The first step to visiting an inmate is to confirm the inmate's facility of incarceration. Interested persons may perform an online inmate lookup or call (866) 277-7477.
Parties must also schedule a visit before going to any Massachusetts state prisons. Scheduling an inmate visit necessitates that an inmate includes the visitor's name on their pre-approved visiting list. The inmate must submit the list to the prison administrator and notify them of incoming visitors. To get on a pre-approved list, visitors should download and complete the Visitor Application Form. Then, parties should send the form to the state prison where the inmate is serving their time. After submission, the inmate will decide if to approve or reject the application.
Minors or individuals below 18 years are exempted from the approval requirements. Nonetheless, visiting juveniles should be accompanied by legal guardians or parents who the inmates already approve. Minors are required to present a certified birth certificate or means of verification of birth. Adults must bring a valid means of identification. The process of visiting an inmate in county jails is initiated locally. Contact the jail administrator, county sheriff, or police department head to find out the visitation hours. County sheriffs typically provide guidelines on how to visit inmates via their website.
How to Contact an Inmate in Massachusetts
The MADOC allows friends and family to contact inmates incarcerated in Massachusetts state prisons by:
- Letters sent through the postal service
- Emails sent through Corrlinks
When sending a letter to an inmate in a Massachusetts prison, make sure to include the inmate's full name and commitment number in the address. Friends and family can send emails to Massachusetts state prison inmates via Secure Mail, an email service offered by Corrlinks. Generally, users must create an account, after which they may send emails for $0.25 per email. Although inmates cannot initiate email contact, the service allows them to reply to emails.
Regarding phone calls, Massachusetts state prisons provide phone services to inmates at a flat rate. Families and friends must set up a phone account for an inmate or fund their phone account via Securus Technologies or by calling (800) 844-6591.
Likewise, local jails and Houses of Correction allow mail and phone contacts for detainees and inmates. Concerned persons may also visit the facility's official website or call the jail administrator's number to inquire about specific rules for contacting a person in jail. Meanwhile, persons sending mails to inmates in Massachusetts must provide the inmate's name and jail identification number on the envelope. It is also best practice for the sender to put their names and addresses on envelopes.
How to Perform a Massachusetts Prison Inmate Search
Massachusetts does not maintain a central online repository for inmate records. So, interested persons who wish to perform a Massachusetts prison inmate search may use independent service providers or call the toll-free line (866) 277-7477.
Generally, to use these prison lookup tools, the searcher must provide basic information about inmates, including the inmate's full name as well as their identification number. Search results will only provide information on adult inmates. Records of minors below 18 years are not available to the public.
How to Perform a Massachusetts County Jail Inmate Search
The local police departments maintain inmate records in city jails, while county sheriffs maintain inmate records in county jails. Persons who wish to find a person in jail may contact the jail administrator directly or visit the jails' official website. The same search requirements apply: the searcher must know the inmate's full name or identification number.
The Difference between Massachusetts State Prisons and County Jail
The prison system in Massachusetts is made up of state prisons and county jails. There are a total of 16 state prisons and several county jails in the state. The majority of inmates in Massachusetts are housed in state prisons, with an average daily population of around 9,000 inmates. County jails typically house a smaller number of inmates, with an average daily population of around 1,500 inmates.
Inmates in Massachusetts state prisons are typically serving sentences of more than one year. The average sentence length for inmates in state prison is around 4 years. Inmates in county jail are typically serving sentences of one year or less. The average sentence length for inmates in county jail is around 6 months.
Both Massachusetts state prisons and county jails provide inmates with basic necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Inmates are also provided with access to medical care and mental health services. State prisons and county jails in Massachusetts are operated by the state Department of Correction.
The Department of Correction is responsible for the supervision of all inmates in state prisons and county jails. The department is also responsible for the administration of all prison and jail facilities. The department is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
How to Find an Inmate Release Date
Generally, a free inmate search by name will provide the searcher with information regarding an inmate, including their release date. However, it is common for record custodians to restrict access to exact dates of release for privacy or security reasons. In such cases, only eligible persons will have access to the inmate release date, including immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized law enforcement officials.