A long tradition of sending addicted women to jail for detox and a safe place has ended. Civil commitments, or what is called Section 35, has ended whereby women would be sent to the women’s prison in Framingham for detox. Civil commitments are when family members go before a judge and ask to have a woman committed because she presents a danger to herself or others.
From WCVB: “Sometimes it takes a lawsuit to get movement on the legislative side,” said Jessie Rossman, a staff attorney at the ACLU who is also working on the case and said substance-abusing women have been imprisoned for more than 25 years. Rossman said she cannot yet say what impact the soon-to-be-law will have on the suit.
According to an administration official, new beds at Taunton State Hospital will provide a secure-setting for women in need of substance abuse treatment who present a danger to themselves and others.