About Sheriff Cahillane

Patrick J. Cahillane was first elected Sheriff of Hampshire County in November 2016, and was returned to office in 2022.           

With more than 40 years of public health and safety experience, Sheriff Cahillane has continued to evolve county correctional practices in accordance with state law and the desires of Hampshire County residents, all while navigating the shifting contours of the coronavirus pandemic. Under his progressive leadership, the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office (HSO), has:

  • Become one of the first facilities in the state to offer Medication-Assisted Treatment for opioid-use disorder (2018), and one of only a handful of county facilities nationwide to become its own federally licensed Opioid Treatment Program (2021);
  • Earned 100 percent re-accreditation scores from the American Correctional Association (2021) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (2022);
  • Established the Rocky Hill Re-Entry Collaborative (2021), in partnership with the state Executive Office of Public Safety, a program that provides temporary housing and services to help formerly incarcerated men make a smoother, more secure transition back to their families and communities;
  • Earned the “Emerging Leader” award (2018) from the Children’s Trust, a Boston-based non-profit working to improve the lives of children and families, for his work with the Nurturing Fathers Program, and;
  • In 2023, Sheriff Cahillane was awarded the Governor Cellucci Fatherhood Award from the Children's Trust for his "transformational impact and leadership with the Nurturing Fathers Program."

In addition to overseeing daily operations at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, the HSO’s Civil Process Division and Community Justice Support Center in Northampton, and the Bridge to the Future House, the HSO’s community-based work-release program, Sheriff Cahillane serves on the State Legislature’s Special Commission to Study the Health and Safety of LGBTQI Prisoners in Correctional Institutions, Jails and Houses of Correction (since 2018), and in 2019 earned a four-year re-accreditation as a Certified Jail Manager from the American Jail Association, making him one of only eight county correctional officials statewide, and the only one from western Massachusetts, to hold this certification.

Patrick immigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 10 and his family settled in Northampton where he attended local schools. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Westfield State College, where he has been an adjunct faculty member in the Criminal Justice Program since 2006, and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England College.

His service to the people of Massachusetts and Hampshire County includes six years in the National Guard and 45 years with the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office, where he has held the positions of Correctional Officer, Senior Officer, Captain, Major in Charge of Security, Deputy Superintendent and Special Sheriff before his election to Sheriff in 2016.

Patrick and his wife Barbara live in Leeds, Massachusetts, where they raised their three daughters, Heather, Erin and Shannon. Patrick enjoys spending time with his family and rescue dog Nina, as well as doing home repairs and helping to educate people on criminal justice topics.

“Showing kindness and respect is not a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of strength and human decency,” Patrick says. “I have never strayed from my belief that public safety is best served when the men the courts place in my care are treated with kindness and respect and offered programming that promotes healing and successful community reintegration.”