Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian announced the population currently under supervision has dropped to below 600 individuals – a nearly 25 percent drop since mid-March.
“On March 12, we had 787 people either sentenced or awaiting trial,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “Today, we have 594. This is a result of multiple processes we began back in early March to reduce our population in a safe and precise manner. We have taken action – by tripling the number of individuals on electronic monitoring and by collaborating with District Attorney Marian Ryan to conduct bail reviews – to balance the public safety and public health needs of this unique moment.”
The drop in population has also been aided by a decline in new arrestees, scheduled releases for sentenced individuals, and the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling allowing pretrial individuals being held on certain charges to have their bail revisited.
As a result of this decline, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has also announced the temporary closure of a fourth dormitory-style housing unit. On April 10 – following an initial 15 percent reduction in population – the MSO announced the temporary closure of three dormitory-style units.
The drop in population and closure of the dorms, combined with other steps modifying movement within the facility has allowed for an enhancement of social distancing practices within the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction.
“The decisions we are making and the steps we are taking are focused on ensuring the safety of those in our custody, our staff and the communities we serve,” said Koutoujian. “We will not waiver from our commitment to meeting those objectives.”