Making a difference: NSO establishes family emergency notification system for inmates


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Media Contact: Deanna LeBlanc
 January 26, 2021
(757) 589-5692
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The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office today announces the creation of a new family emergency notification system for inmates. Director of Inmate Programs, Rick James, says it is a sad reality that there has been a stark increase in recent months of the number of emergency and death notifications his office receives. Sometimes, an inmate may even receive difficult news while using a common phone, without the privacy or space they need.

In order to ensure this important information is passed on to a person in our care in a timely manner, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has created a new online form. The form, which can be found on, under the ‘inmate’ tab, allows loved ones to quickly send information on family emergencies or deaths to our inmate chaplain, Ms. Pamela Castellanos. Ms. Castellanos can quickly fact-check that information and ensure speedy delivery to the inmate.

With this information, NSO staff is able to bring the inmate to our bereavement room, which has comfortable furniture, religious material, and a telephone where the inmate can call their family in private and spend time with Chaplain Castellanos should they choose to do so.

“We are committed to making a difference in the lives of others which includes those in our care,” Sheriff Joe Baron said. “We all want to be treated with care and compassion when experiencing tragedy or loss. Giving inmates the time and space needed to properly address their family emergency can help them maintain their mental health, which helps keep them and those in our care safe.”


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