The Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, inaugurated on January 5, 2001, is a modern correctional facility situated at 467 Cheshire Road in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Spanning an impressive 160,000 square feet and encompassing 25 acres of land, the facility operates on a direct supervision model. It comprises eight two-tiered housing units, known as pods, featuring a total of 288 cells. With a capacity of approximately 500 inmates, the new jail represents a significant upgrade from the old Berkshire County facility on Second Street.
In contrast to the traditional linear cell block design of its predecessor, the new Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction showcases a distinctive pod layout. This architectural concept entails two levels of cells surrounding a central day room area, complete with an officer’s station, counseling rooms, and an office. Each pod is also equipped with a recreation deck, providing additional space for inmates to engage in recreational activities. The transition from the outdated Second Street jail, constructed in 1870, to this state-of-the-art facility signifies a significant shift in meeting the evolving needs of Berkshire County’s inmate population.
With an approved budget of $39.1 million, the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction project received state funding in 1996. The construction process commenced in March 1999, following a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Governor A. Paul Cellucci on September 22, 1998. Equipped with cutting-edge security technology and computer-driven systems, this facility represents a vast improvement in terms of operational efficiency and inmate management. It replaces the overcrowded and outdated Second Street jail, which had exceeded its intended capacity due to the growing demands of Berkshire County’s correctional system.
The Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction distinguishes itself through its emphasis on education and treatment programs aimed at facilitating inmates’ rehabilitation and personal growth during their confinement. These programs encompass a range of educational opportunities, vocational training, job skills evaluation, and substance abuse counseling and treatment. By focusing on providing inmates with the means to improve themselves, the facility aims to equip them with the necessary tools for successful reintegration into society upon their release. This forward-thinking approach reflects the commitment of Berkshire County to address the challenges of the 21st century and promote positive change within its correctional system.
At the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, inmates have the opportunity to receive visits from their loved ones. Each week, inmates are allowed a maximum of three one-hour visits. During these visits, inmates can have up to two adult visitors and two minor visitors at a time. To ensure a smooth visitation process, all visitors must be listed on a pre-approved visitors list, with each inmate being permitted to have up to five individuals on their list.
For the convenience and security of everyone involved, adult visitors are required to present a valid state photo identification upon arrival. Visitors under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult during their visit and are also expected to provide either a valid state photo identification or a long-form birth certificate as proof of identification.
To assist visitors in planning their visits, the designated visiting hours are prominently displayed in the main lobby of the facility. By adhering to these guidelines and procedures, the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction aims to facilitate meaningful connections between inmates and their families or friends while maintaining a secure environment within the facility.
Visiting Schedule (In-Person):
Monday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Tuesday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Wednesday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Thursday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Friday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Sunday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
At the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, inmates are able to receive mail through the U.S. Mail service, which is delivered every day except Sundays and postal holidays. To ensure safety and security, all incoming mail is opened and inspected for contraband. It is important for senders to address the envelope with the inmate’s name and include a return address. Legal documents are opened in the presence of the inmate, while subscriptions to publications are allowed as long as they do not compromise the institution’s security and order. If you wish to send mail to an inmate, please address it to:
Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction
467 Cheshire Road Pittsfield, MA 01201
Inmates are permitted to make collect calls to their family and friends. For more details about inmate phone calls and billing information, you can click on the provided link to access Securus Correctional Billing Services.
Inmate Accounts All funds intended for inmates should be deposited into their individual accounts. Cash deposits can be made at the public lobby during regular business hours. When sending money via mail, only money orders or cashier’s checks are accepted. These money orders or cashier’s checks must be made payable to the inmate and include the sender’s name and address. Please send all money orders or cashier’s checks to the following address:
Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction
467 Cheshire Road Pittsfield, MA 01201
When it comes to bail proceedings at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, the responsibility lies with their dedicated team. Individuals who wish to bail out an inmate must follow the specified steps and provide the necessary information to the lobby officer. These requirements include:
Once the Clerk/Magistrate has processed the funds and relevant documents, the regular release procedures will be implemented. The Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office ensures a smooth and efficient process for bail proceedings, allowing for the appropriate release of inmates.
The Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, under the leadership of Sheriff Bowler, serves as an essential facility in Berkshire County. Alongside this facility, Sheriff Bowler also operates the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Communications Center, located in Pittsfield. The Communications Center plays a crucial role in providing 24-hour communications services for Police, Fire, and EMS, both for emergency (911) and non-emergency situations. It serves a total of twenty-six communities in Berkshire, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties, ensuring effective coordination and dispatch of emergency services.
In addition to managing the jail and the Communications Center, Sheriff Bowler oversees several divisions within the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office Uniform Division is responsible for maintaining public safety and enforcing the law throughout the county. The Civil Process Division handles the execution of legal documents and court orders. Furthermore, Sheriff Bowler leads the Berkshire County Underwater Search and Rescue Team, which specializes in responding to water-related emergencies and conducting search and rescue operations. Through the supervision of these divisions and teams, Sheriff Bowler ensures the overall safety and security of Berkshire County, its residents, and the surrounding communities.
Berkshire County, situated in the westernmost part of Massachusetts, is recognized as the historical western county of the state. With a population of 129,026 according to the 2020 census, its largest city and traditional county seat is Pittsfield. The county itself was established in 1761 and is known for being the center of the Berkshire Hills.
Today, Berkshire County exists solely as a historical geographic region and does not have a functioning county government, except for specific offices such as the sheriff and registry of deeds, as well as the retirement board for former county workers. The county government was abolished on July 1, 2000, and most of its former functions were assumed by state agencies. There is no county council or commission in operation.
The sheriff of Berkshire County, though a Commonwealth employee, remains locally elected and retains administrative and operational control over the Berkshire Sheriff’s Office. This independent state agency oversees the county jail and house of correction. Additionally, local communities within Berkshire County have been granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. In this regard, the towns of Berkshire County have established the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to facilitate collaboration.
Berkshire County is divided into three Registry of Deeds Districts, each responsible for maintaining records for specific cities and towns in the region. These districts include the Berkshire Northern District in Adams, encompassing North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Savoy, Williamstown, and Windsor. The Berkshire Middle District in Pittsfield covers Pittsfield, Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee, Lenox, Otis, Peru, Richmond, Stockbridge, Tyringham, and Washington. Lastly, the Berkshire Southern District in Great Barrington maintains records for Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Sheffield, and West Stockbridge.