Needed Corrections:

Promising Strategies for Improving Massachusetts' Prisons and Jails

February 28, 2005
Anne Morrison Phiel (Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School)

Managing corrections effectively is a special challenge due to the risky environment, the 24-per day demands, and the high needs of the inmate population. These diffi culties are not unique to the DOC and, in fact, many similar concerns were raised by an earlier commission that looked into conditions in the Suffolk County House of Correction in 2002. The recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Corrections Reform are sweeping, but not out of reach. Together, the findings of the report and the ideas for improvement challenge the DOC and the Commonwealth to manage the inmate population and the state’s resources more productively. Over the six months since the report was released, the DOC has moved to improve upon the defi ciencies noted by the Commission. Yet there is still much more ground to cover before Massachusetts becomes a leader in correctional practice.