Massachusetts plans major changes to its corrections system that could mean hundreds of new corrections officers, a new classification system for inmates, and an independent inspector general to oversee operations, Public Safety Secretary Edward Flynn said yesterday, reports the Boston Globe. Flynn said an advisory council is prepared to propose sweeping changes that focus on improving the “negative aspects of the internal climate” in prisons and jails in Massachusetts.
Flynn’s administration intends to roll out a new classification system for inmates within the next few months. Flynn said Massachusetts has the second best ratio of staff-to-inmates in the nation, although the total number of officers is less than it was five years ago. A new report from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston says the state increased its spending on corrections by 23 percent between 1994 and 2003, while the number of inmates declined by 7 percent from 10,644 to 9,886.