MCI-Cedar Junction To Stop Housing Inmates Over The Next 2 Years

Open door to prison cell

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WALPOLE (WBZNewsRadio) - The Massachusetts Department of Correction announced it is beginning a 2-year plan to stop housing inmates at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole. They're citing reduced incarcerations rates and high maintenance costs.

A recent review found the prison needs at least $30 million in infrastructure repairs, with electrical updates alone costing an estimated $22 million.

The changes will be implemented in a three-phase plan, with the first phase expected to begin by this summer. During that first phase, Cedar Junction's diagnostic and reception center, where newly sentenced men are sent to be evaluated for security classification, will move to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster.

During the second phase, prisoners from the Behavioral Management Unit will be relocated to other facilities.

In the third phase, set for completion in 2024, the remaining Department Disciplinary Unit will be dissolved.

Though the correctional facility will not be used to house general population inmates moving forward, the DOC said "limited functions" will continue.

Cedar Junction opened in 1955 and remains one of the state's oldest correctional facilities.

WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports

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