Berkshire DA’s Office Statement On COVID-19
From the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office recommits to contributing to a culture of civility and consideration in the community that we serve.
Public safety is, as always, our priority. We will continue to work in partnership with state and local police to enforce the law, protect victims and the community from dangerous individuals, respect due process rights, and provide avenues to meaningful support for those who are struggling.
We are mindful of our most vulnerable citizens whose access to help may be further limited during this period of social isolation. The Victim Advocates at the BDAO are available to provide safety planning and to help victims of crime access tools for their own empowerment. We encourage victims in isolation to contact local law enforcement for help.
The following hotlines are also available to provide safety and support to victims of crime:
· Berkshire District Attorney’s Office: 413-443-5951.
· Report Child Abuse to the Department of Children and Families emergency line at 800-792-5200.
· The Brien Center is available for mental health and substance use crisis at 800-252-0227.
· Elizabeth Freeman Center and the national domestic violence hotlines are available at 866-401-2425.
· The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-7888.
· The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.
· The Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission at 800-426-9009.
· The Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275.
The BDAO has implemented internal protocols limiting interaction between staff members and with non-staff members in order to protect employees, prevent the spread of illness in the community and ensure that our entire staff does not become subjected to quarantine.
The office will be closed to all non-BDAO staff members. Any necessary meetings or interviews will be held via teleconference or at outside locations.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington is working with local and state law enforcement to ensure law and order while limiting opportunities for the virus to spread.
BDAO will file motions to continue all pre-trial matters. No new jurors will be called through April 21, 2020 per order of the Supreme Judicial Court. Assistant District Attorneys will be available to handle arraignments, warrants, dangerousness hearings, and other immediate needs in order to protect the public and ensure due process rights.