February 3 2016
Bill To Allow Regional Lockup Facilities for Arrestees Gets Key Committee Approval
A proposed bill that would change how arrestees are detained that was written by State Sen. Ken Donnelly and is supported by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has been given the thumbs up by a key committee.
The bill, An Act establishing regional lockup facilities, which would allow police departments in Middlesex County to place pre-arraignment detainees in a regional lockup facility operated by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security last week, a release states.
The bill now moves to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for review.
“I would like to thank Senator Donnelly, our law enforcement colleagues who advocated for this legislation, and the committee for advancing it to the crucial next stage,” Sheriff Koutoujian said. “We believe a regional lockup facility would bring significant benefit to the county because it will allow corrections officers – specifically trained to work in a jail setting – to ensure the custody of detainees.”
According to the release, the bill would allow any sheriff in the Commonwealth to establish a regional lockup facility for their county. Local police departments could then transfer responsibility for the care and maintenance of detainees to the sheriff from the time of arrest, rather than the time of arraignment.
“This is an important piece of legislation for my community and communities across the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Donnelly. “This bill will also provide better and more efficient access to important services for those in our communities who may need them.”
Because many detainees that are arrested over the weekend cannot be arraigned until the next business day, local police departments struggle over weekends and holidays to properly house these individuals. The delays create a strain on the departments’ budgets and officers’ time, the release says.