Lawmakers: Stop Imprisoning Women for Substance Abuse

massachusetts state houseBOSTON (AP) — Women with alcohol or substance abuse problems believed to be a danger to themselves or others would no longer be housed in the state prison for women in Framingham under a bill sent to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Lawmakers gave the bill final approval Thursday hours before the Republican governor’s State of the State address.

Massachusetts law allows a doctor or family member to ask a court to order individuals believed to be a danger to be involuntarily committed because of alcohol or substance abuse.

The state first pledged to move the women out of the prison as far back as 1987.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders has pledged to make the change saying the women, who’ve committed no crimes, should not be housed in a prison.

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