Monday, January 25, 2016

Legislation End MCI-Framingham Civil Commitments for Substance Misuse Disorder

This afternoon I was pleased to join Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Senate President Rosenberg, House Speaker DeLeo and many other colleagues in state government for the signing of H3956, An act Relative to Civil Commitments for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders, into law.

The bill represents a long overdo reform to ensure that women with addiction are no longer forced into state correctional institutions to be able to obtain treatment.  For 25 years, women have been sent to MCI Framingham instead of to a center for treatment.  What's worse is that for the past 25 years, many women in need of medical assistance have also had to receive a criminal sentence to get treated for an appropriate duration of time.  These conditions are unacceptable, and that is why I was pleased to join with so many of my colleagues in the effort to secure this much needed legislation.

The law Governor Baker signed today represents an important step in confronting one significant issue that needed to be addressed.  The bi-partisan collaborative and decisive way it happened points to our ability to take even more steps to address drug addiction if we remain focused , and I will work to ensure that as well.