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. Sheriff Andrea Cabral is responsible for the operation of the House of Correction, the Suffolk County Jail, the Suffolk County Women's Resource Center, the Suffolk County Community Corrections Center and the Civil Process Division.
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department has more than 1,100 employees comprised of correctional officers, criminal justice professionals, caseworkers and administrative staff whose primary responsibility is upholding public safety and providing rehabilitative support for more than 2,500 offenders daily. The average operating budget for the Department is $100 million.
Sheriff Cabral brings an extensive legal background and a commitment to pubic safety as she begins her term as Sheriff. In her 16-year career in public service, she has a demonstrated a commitment to public safety. Sheriff Cabral began her legal career in 1986 as a staff attorney at the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department at the Charles Street Jail, working to prepare and argue motions for bail reduction for the Suffolk Superior Court.
Subsequently, she served as an assistant district attorney at the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office from 1987-1991. Sheriff Cabral specifically litigated felony cases in Middlesex Superior Court seeking fair and appropriate sentences for all cases resolved by pleas and arguing pretrial motions for the Court.
Sheriff Cabral served as Cambridge Jury Supervisor and also handled more than 500 cases per year at the Cambridge District Court in the adult and juvenile sessions and investigated, prepared and tried more than 250 misdemeanor and concurrent jurisdiction felony cases. From 1991-1993, Sheriff Cabral served a variety of roles as an attorney at the Office of the Attorney General including work in the Torts Division/ Government Bureau and the Civil Rights/ Public Protection Bureau.
In the civil rights division, Sheriff Cabral successfully investigated six cases of alleged police misconduct and prepared reports for submission to the Attorney General and police chiefs accordingly.
Sheriff Cabral then began work at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in 1993 under then District Attorney Ralph C. Martin III. From 1993-1994, she was director of Roxbury District Court Family Violence Project. As director, she prosecuted domestic violence felony cases (including the nation's first stalking case) and established 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 at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. She supervised district and superior court staff in preparation and prosecution of domestic violence cases as chief of the unit. Additionally, she actively investigated, indicted and prosecuted major violent felonies in Suffolk Superior Court. In 1998, Sheriff Cabral was promoted to chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions.
In this position, she effectively developed policy, staff supervision, training case management and administration 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, which included the Safe Neighborhood Initiatives and Prosecutor in Police Stations (PIPS) Programs.
Sheriff Cabral's published works include Obtaining, Enforcing and Defending x.209A Restraining Orders in Massachusetts and co-authored Same Gender Domestic Violence: Strategies for Change in Creating Courtroom Accessibility. She has also participated in several legal forums sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and the Boston Bar Association.
Sheriff Cabral is a graduate of Boston College (1981) with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Suffolk University Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1986. She is a resident of Jamaica Plain.