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Inside the former immigrant detention building that might become home to Mass and Cass homeless

WBUR takes us inside the Suffolk County jail building that might be used to house Methadone Mile residents who get involuntarily committed if they refuse to move on their own.

"It's more like a college dorm with a breakout room for programming and smaller rooms where people can have individualized counseling," and will have its own courtroom the sheriff says. But unlike a college dorm, occupants will not be able to leave.


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I think Leung has gotten better and is much less of a sock puppet these days.

Voting closed 14


This is an all out Chamber of Commerce push on Mass and Cass.

I would double check on that sock puppet thing because it appears to be spoon feeding you things right down your gullet.

Shirley has put the pom poms back on so hard that the only song playing in her head is Mickey by Toni Basil with this "It isn't jail" thing.

Voting closed 19

IDK, sounds racist to me...

Voting closed 5

It kind of sounds like 50s nostalgia from the 80s, meaning Costello is delving into meta nostalgia.

Voting closed 10

Don Henley nails it every time he tries.

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to the Hotel Methadonia.

Such a lovely place

Voting closed 35

The Hotel Methadonia, out on the Methadone Mile.

Voting closed 10

Hotel Methadonia. I like it so much I've added Methadonia to my dictionary.

Voting closed 5

Using the Suffolk County jail building has always seemed a very good fit. It's already built and it located right there. It's unused space. They are offering help and safety to get people off the street and into rehab.

Voting closed 24

Yet all I hear is 'ITS JAIL' being screamed at the top of their lungs.

Its clear NONE of these people have ever been to inpatient drug rehab. In most cases, YOU CANNOT LEAVE. The whole point of inpatient is to get you away from surroundings (and dealers) in hope it aid in cleaning you up.

Is it still jail if its at some hospital?

Locking rooms.. check
restrained to bed if you act out.. check
bedtime at certain hours.. check
required to wear non-street clothes.. check
can't have certain items in your room... check
can't leave premises.. check.

All of these are the same if it was an inpatient drug treatment facility or a jail. And it's suppose to be that way.

Furthermore, I wouldn't want people to be able to have a revolving front door to come and go as they please. Imagine the line of dealers waiting within a few blocks of this place ready to sell drugs to people on a daily basis. Remember the reason why Mass @ Cass even exists is because it started with dealers hanging out outside BMC's methadone treatment center trying to entice people who were getting treatment.

But sure let's have a drug treatment center with a open door policy. That'll work. *smh*

Voting closed 33

like another old Suffolk County jail.

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First, some assumptions I hold which may not be true, since this is outside of my direct experience:

- That the jail looks like a classic jail, with iron bars, thin cots, raw concrete, etc.
- That inpatient drug treatment facilities at least have more of a hospital or hotel look to them -- finished walls and ceiling, basic furnishings, etc.
- That success at getting and staying clean is at least partly dependent on mindset.

Under those assumptions, I'd predict that people being held in a jail for treatment are going to have more of a prisoner mindset, and will be more inclined to act and think rebelliously. Also, that it would just be all the much more miserable in the meantime, because in the US our jails and prisons are partly designed for punitive effect.

(I suppose there's also the possibility that it gets people into a "well fuck that, never again" reaction, which could be beneficial? But it seems doubtful.)

Voting closed 8

The WBUR article talks about using "building 8" as a Section 35 facility. This is court-ordered substance use treatment in Massachusetts, similar to Section 12e and 7 & 8 for mental health.

Current Section 35 facilities for men already include correctional facilities in Plymouth, Ludlow, and Springfield (and a hospital in Brockton and new beds in Taunton).

The big change will be for women, who only go to a correctional facility under a Section 35 when they have pending criminal charges.

Regardless, I think all of your assumptions are true.

Voting closed 4


Yeah its not like staying at the Ritz Carlton. It wasn't like any hospital (I.e. MassGen) I've ever been in. It was run down,. things were broken, people moaning from other rooms, smell of dried puke, awful food, place was dirty AF, and yeah I couldn't leave.

In fact, it wasn't much better than you describe.

I renew my comment I said earlier... you can't force people to do anything so as far as acting out. Look, if you want to clean up, you will follow the rules, not act out, and clean up. If you don't want to clean up, you're going to just cause a ruckus being there (i.e. acting out). You cause too many issues, they will throw you out.

I think if this was being used as a shelter only, you might have a point, but this would be to help people get clean and stay that way. That takes will power from within. Jail building or hospital building, when you want help to clean up, it doesn't matter where it comes from.

Voting closed 7

I guess I was thinking more "cheap interstate motel", and should have said it that way -- aseptic, somewhat Spartan, everything bolted down.

But it sounds like in any case a lot of the misery comes from the company (and from inside) anyhow.

Voting closed 4