Statement of Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian Regarding the Closure of the Middlesex Jail in Cambridge

Photo: Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian stands outside the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge as the last pre-trial detainees held in the building’s jail were relocated on Saturday, June 28, 2014.

Following 32 years of continuous operation, the Middlesex Jail at the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge officially closed today.

Early Saturday afternoon, correctional staff completed a two day process in which 220 pre-trial detainees were safely relocated from Cambridge to the Middlesex House of Correction and Jail located in Billerica.
I want to thank all our highly professional corrections officers and staff who worked diligently to ensure this transition was executed successfully and without incident.
The Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse holds many memories for me professionally as a place where I first served as a prosecutor for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and a supervisor in the Cambridge District Court. On a personal level it is also where I met my wife, who was working as a Spanish interpreter before going on to herself become an attorney.
While thousands walked the halls during its heyday, I knew from the moment I stepped back into the building as Sheriff, it was no longer a suitable facility in which to house a jail. From that moment on, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office worked closely with Patrick Administration officials and the Attorney General’s Office to propose a safe, secure space to accommodate our jail population. I am grateful to Governor Patrick, the Executive Office for Administration & Finance and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for their efforts to help us in the endeavor.
Today the Sullivan Courthouse becomes part of our storied past, but our efforts to recreate the judicial efficiency that once existed there has just begun. During its prime, the building was home to the Middlesex Superior Court, the Middlesex District Court, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office – entities now scattered across the county. Reestablishing a jail in the southern area of Middlesex County where 12 of our 14 courts reside will remain a top priority in an effort to recreate that criminal justice efficiency in a new justice complex.

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