Built to replace its antiquated predecessor on Deer Island, the Suffolk County House of Correction at South Bay opened on Dec. 26, 1991. The seven building facility houses adult male and female inmates convicted of crimes with a sentence of 2½ years or less. This decentralized, direct supervision correctional center is comprised of 27 separate housing units to which inmates are assigned in accordance with a comprehensive classification system. Since 1992, the House of Correction has steadily increased its population from 832 inmates to as high as 1,900 in 2000.
During their incarceration, inmates have the opportunity to progress from their initial classification as maximum-security inmates to minimum-security inmates as they conclude their sentence. For classification advancement, an inmate must demonstrate exemplary behavior, including adherence to institutional rules, compliance with staff orders, and active, voluntary participation in various rehabilitative programs available throughout the facility. Such programs include, six month therapeutic community, anger management classes, vocational training, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), educational courses ranging from basic literacy to general equivalency, AIDS education, and parenting skills. The programs are designed to emphasize accountability and responsibility for inmates. Medical services are also provided to inmates at the House of Correction. The medical staff provides standard health care, assistance with substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues.