MA DOC Announces Prison Closings

[Originally from - Wm.]

Department of Correction
Contact: Justin Latini
Dir. Public Affairs
March 15, 2002

Massachusetts Department of Correction Announces Prison Closings

Commissioner Michael T. Maloney has announced the closing of three Massachusetts State Prisons in order to reduce the operating budgets during constraints facing the Department in the FY 2003 budget. "This plan provides the necessary means to meet fiscal obligations while eliminating the need to layoff employees. "The plan reflects approximately five to six million dollars in operational savings for the department". " These closures will result in the redeployment of over 550 staff", stated Commissioner Maloney. The facilities planning to close by July 1, 2002 are Southeastern Correctional Center in Bridgewater, MCI-Lancaster and MCI-Shirley Minimum.

The male inmates at MCI - Lancaster will be relocated to existing vacant beds at Minimum/Prelease facilities within the DOC. Female inmates at MCI-Lancaster will be relocated to the South Middlesex Correctional Center behind MCI-Framingham and it will become a Female Minimum/Prelease Center. Current male inmates at South Middlesex Correctional Center will be transferred to existing available beds at Minimum/Prelease facilities in the DOC.

Inmates at the Southeastern Correctional Center in Bridgewater, the oldest Medium facility within the agency (built in the 1850's) will be transferred to other medium beds within the DOC. The Minimum portion of Southeastern Correctional Center will remain open and will be managed by Old Colony Correctional Center. Inmates residing in the Addiction Center of S.E.C.C. will be relocated to the Massachusetts Boot Camp program, located on the Bridgewater Complex. The existing Boot Camp Program is underutilized and will be eliminated to accommodate this relocation of the Addiction Center.
Inmates at the MCI-Shirley Minimum facility will be relocated to existing Minimum beds within the DOC. This facility will continue to be maintained, in the event that minimum - security bed space is required in the future and/or for use by the department as a staff-training site.

The plan calls for some 900 inmates to be relocated to available beds and does not call for early release of inmates or transferring inmates to higher custody. The staff will be redeployed as Union Officials and Commissioner Maloney work out the details. The Department's request for additional positions has gone unfunded, causing vacancies, which will be filled by the redeployment of staff from the closing facilities. "Facilities will now be properly staffed, even with the increase of inmates, we feel confident that we can provide a higher level of safety for staff, inmates and the citizens of the Commonwealth", stated Commissioner Michael Maloney.