It’s official: The Middlesex Jail at the Sullivan Courthouse
in Cambridge closed on June 28, according to Middlesex County Sheriff, Peter
The staff at the sheriff’s office completed the two-day process of moving 220 pretrial detainees from Cambridge to Billerica.
In a statement, Koutoujian said he and others had a lot of fond memories of working at the courthouse including meeting his wife, an interpreter, there for the first time. He added that he knew when he became sheriff, and stepped back in the building for the first time in many years, that “it was no longer a suitable facility in which to house a jail.” The department has been working with the state to during the relocation process and to find a better facility in the future.
“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,” he said.
The facility, constructed in 1971, is located on Thorndike Street, above the former Cambridge Superior Courthouse. It’s one of the only high-rise, maximum-security lockups in the United States.
A lawsuit by the ACLU was filed in 2013 to address “unconstitutional overcrowding” and a judge ordered no more than 230 detainees to be housed at the prison at any given time, according to press reports.
Koutoujian said he hoped to have a new jail in the southern part of the county where 12 of the county’s 14 courts are now located. Other offices involved in the court system like the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office are scattered around the county.