MASS. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION ANNOUNCES INTENT TO DO AWAY WITH RESTRICTIVE HOUSING
June 30, 2021
By Esteban Bustillos
The Massachusetts Department of Correction announced on Tuesday that it intends to end its use of restrictive housing across state-run facilities over a multi-year process.
Although it’s a milestone, activists are reserving judgment until there’s more detail about how the state will carry out the process of doing away with the practice.
The state’s announcement comes after an independent report from Falcon Inc., which recommended that the DOC eliminate restrictive housing as currently defined, along with several other suggestions on how the Department can improve.
“This is an extraordinary step forward, and sets an example for other states also considering this important change in corrections,” Elizabeth Falcon, CEO and Founder of Falcon Inc, said in a statement. “Our colleagues in the Massachusetts DOC are working to significantly improve the lives and well-being of the people within its facilities, as well as the staff and professionals who provide services. We look forward to partnering in the implementation of these recommendations in the coming weeks and months.”
Elizabeth Matos, the executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, was more reserved about the announcement, saying there aren’t a lot of details yet.
“Even the proclamation by the DOC that it intends to end solitary is progress in and of itself, but of course the devil is in the details and we’ll have to see how things move forward from here,” she said.