Andrea J. Cabral was sworn in on November 29, 2002 as the 30th Sheriff in the history of Suffolk County. She is the first female in the Commonwealth’s history to hold the position. She was appointed to the position in 2002 by former Governor Jane Swift and elected to a full term in 2004. She brings an extensive legal background and a commitment to public safety to her position.
Sheriff Cabral is responsible for the operation of the House of Correction, the Suffolk County Jail and the Civil Process Division. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is the largest sheriff’s department in the Commonwealth and the 30th largest in the United States. It has 1,051 employees, including executive managers, corrections officers, investigators, educators, health care providers, caseworkers and administrative staff, whose primary responsibility is to provide safe care, custody, control and rehabilitative support for more than 2,700 offenders daily. The average operating budget for the Department is $122 million.
Sheriff Cabral is a member of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association. Following a two-year term as Vice President, she served as its President from 2008 – 2009.
Sheriff Cabral’s career in public service spans 23 years. Her legal career began in 1986 where she worked as a staff attorney in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department at the Charles Street Jail, preparing and arguing motions for bail reduction in the Suffolk Superior Court. Subsequently, she served as an assistant district attorney in both the District and Superior Courts in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office from 1987-1991.
From 1991-1993, Sheriff Cabral was an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General, where she worked in the Torts Division of the Government Bureau and the Civil Rights Division of the Public Protection Bureau. Sheriff Cabral then began work at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in 1993 under District Attorney Ralph C. Martin III. From 1993-1994, she was director of the Roxbury District Court Family Violence Project. As director, she prosecuted domestic violence cases (including the county’s first stalking case) and helped to establish new administrative policies and procedures for the processing of such cases in the Roxbury District Court. In March 1994, Sheriff Cabral became chief of the Domestic Violence Unit where she supervised and trained district and superior court staff in the preparation and prosecution of major domestic violence felony cases. Additionally, she indicted and prosecuted major domestic violence felony cases in Suffolk Superior Court. In 1998, Sheriff Cabral was promoted to chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions. In this position, she effectively developed district court policies, staff supervision and evaluation tools, training curricula and case management practices in Suffolk County’s eight district courts and the Boston Municipal Court. Sheriff Cabral also oversaw the staffing and supervision of all district court community prosecutions programs, which included the Safe Neighborhood Initiatives and Prosecutor in Police Stations (PIPS) Programs.
Sheriff Cabral’s published works include Obtaining, Enforcing and Defending Ch.209A Restraining Orders in Massachusetts and co-authorship of the article Same Gender Domestic Violence: Strategies for Change in Creating Courtroom Accessibility. She is on the Boards of the Mass Mentoring Partnership and the Boston History and Innovation Collaborative and a regular contributor to legal forums sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and the Boston Bar Association.
In addition to receiving numerous awards and honors throughout the years, in 2007, Sheriff Cabral was named an Eisenhower Fellow and traveled to Australia for a month-long study of their criminal justice system. Eisenhower Fellows are an international network of leaders from diverse backgrounds who create and share information and best practices within a vast array of professional disciplines.
Sheriff Cabral is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School.