Hampden County Sheriff’s Department Operational Changes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As the threat of COVID-19 continues, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is maintaining significant steps to protect the staff, the incarcerated individuals in our care, and the general public. The COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out in accordance with state Department of Public Health guidelines in January 2021 and continues to be offered to all inmates, Section 35 clients, and all staff and contractors who work in our facilities.

Because of the rollout of the vaccine, certain elements of our operations that were paused at the onset of the pandemic have resumed in a limited capacity. Some areas which have resumed some normalcy in operations include:

Personal Visits & Communications: In mid-March 2020, all in-person inmate visits were paused. But as the vaccination rate has increased while active COVID-19 infections have decreased, as of May 30, 2021, in-person visitation will begin to resume with new rules in a limited capacity. For details, click the links below for updated information relative to each of our facilities.

Public Lobby: As the Commonwealth slowly begins to reopen following the guidance of the CDC and Massachusetts DPH, we also have begun to open up operations to the public.

As of May 3, 2021, the Public Lobby at the Main Institution in Ludlow has reopened for the following:

  • Court property drop off (no sneakers will be accepted with court clothes).
  • Inmate accounts for family to deposit and pick up money from the inmate population Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Public Lobby at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center will reopen as of May 4, 2021, as follows:

  • Court property drop off: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12 to 2 p.m., and by appointment through Intake: (413) 730-6840
  • Inmate accounts for family to deposit and pick up money from the inmate population, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.

Our Department will continue to monitor the CDC and DPH guidelines as we all look forward to a full opening in the future.

PVTA’s Stonybrook Express: The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus route we subsidize (B12) will resume its normal daily runs to the Main Institution in Ludlow. For the latest scheduling information relative to its runs between Union Station in Springfield and the Main Institution in Ludlow, visit the PVTA Website here.

Inmate Account Kiosks: Access to machines at the Main Institution in Ludlow, the Women’s Regional Correctional Center in Chicopee and the Western Mass. Recovery &; Wellness Center in Springfield are once again permitted. Deposits can also be made via a bilingual telephone hotline (1-866-345-1884), online at www.accesscorrections.com or via the Access Corrections app, which is available on Apple and Android devices. More information on the app and how to use it here.

Professional Visits: During the pandemic, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office has remained open for in-person attorney visits. Unless your client is in the quarantine housing unit where all newcomers are placed for the first two weeks or a medical quarantined unit, attorneys who have been fully vaccinated can have an in-person visit with a client in a visiting room.  Both the attorney and the client will be required to wear masks.  Attorneys will also be required to present their vaccination cards prior to the visit. Any questions or issues, please email: AttorneyContact@sdh.state.ma.us

Please call CCR at the facility you wish to visit to confirm that your client is not in quarantine prior to your visit: (413) 547-8000

  • Ludlow:                Ext. 2191
  • WCC Chicopee:  Ext. 6871
  • Mill Street:           Ext. 3106

Staff Screening: The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is screening every unvaccinated employee or contractor before they enter our facilities on every shift. If anyone has any symptoms potentially linked to COVID-19, they are sent home and we follow up with them to ensure they are alright and have everything they need. Medical clearance including a negative COVID test is required before someone can return to work.

Medical: All medical services continued through the height of the pandemic with additional attention paid to the transmission of infectious diseases throughout our facilities. Our enhanced offender screening procedures, including preventative medical quarantine at intake, COVID testing and subsequent medical follow-up will remain in effect indefinitely. Additionally, all offenders are offered the COVID-19 vaccine upon booking into HCSD facilities and on-demand throughout their time in our care and custody.

All Inclusive Support Services (AISS): Our community support center, located at 736 State Street with an entry gate adjacent to 28 Buckingham Street in Springfield, is currently operating to assist released individuals and the community. For service, the public can call (413) 781-2050 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Regional Safe-Keeps: In order to support our public safety partners, we continue to accept people accused of a crime with changes to our intake procedures designed to keep everybody safe. All Regional safe-keeps at the Main Institution in Ludlow and at the Western Mass. Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee are being housed in separate units in order to isolate this temporary population for the protection of our staff and the general population.

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Enlightened And Effective Corrections

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department supervises people in various levels of security, including civil commitments, across five facilities in Western Massachusetts. Sheriff Nick Cocchi, elected to the office of sheriff in 2016, is spearheading several initiatives including addressing the opioid crisis and working more closely with local and federal law enforcement to enhance public safety in the greater Springfield area.

As the role of the Sheriff’s office has evolved from care while in custody, to prevention before incarceration, Sheriff Cocchi has continued to push outreach efforts to engage the community in a variety of ways.

The department has a deserved national reputation for its innovation in facility and community programs. The Hampden County Correctional Center is considered a model of safe, secure, orderly, lawful, humane, and productive corrections, where inmates are challenged to pick up the tools and directions to build a law-abiding life in an atmosphere free from violence.

In Massachusetts, county correctional facilities incarcerate both pre-trial detainees and sentenced individuals with sentences of two and a half years or less.

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department oversees multiple correctional facilities and programs, including: