Prison is no place to cure the opioid epidemic

December 12, 2017
The Boston Globe

In late September, David McKinley was found hanging from the top bunk bed in his room at a Plymouth treatment center for drug and alcohol dependency. As reported in the Globe, McKinley’s suicide raises important questions about the suitability and management of the unit he was housed in for opioid use.

That’s because McKinley was at the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center, run by the state’s department of correction. The 29-year-old had been there for three days before committing suicide; it was his third stint at MASAC.

This is not a department of corrections population, it’s a health and human services population,” said Jim Pingeon, litigation director at Prisoners’ Legal Services, a Massachusetts nonprofit advocacy group. “Is this the best we can do?

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