Gov. Patrick calls for more humane treatment of substance abusers

prison bars jail
Gov. Deval Patrick wants a new less punitive approach to corrections. Credit: Jan Vargas, Flickr

Inmates will have an easier time moving into minimum security facilities, and Massachusetts will lose the dubious distinction of being the only state to hold civilly committed people in prison, Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday, charting out a new less punitive approach to corrections.

“Treating those with substance abuse as prisoners is wrong. We must make the beds available for these individuals to receive proper treatment in proper settings,” Gov. Patrick told an audience at UMass Boston.

Following Boston Globe reporting on the 2009 death of Joshua Messier, who had paranoid schizophrenia and died after being restrained at Bridgewater State Hospital, Patrick preached the need for care in the treatment of the mentally ill.

“Unless it can be said with certainty that the inmate poses a serious and immediate physical danger to himself or his fellow inmates, he should not be tied down limb-by-limb in the 21st century here in Massachusetts,” Patrick said.

He said, “While on the subject of the use of restraints, let me be clear that we will also end – finally, completely and immediately – the use of restraints on pregnant inmates in labor. Current regulations prohibit this in state prisons, and today the Department of Corrections will issue emergency regulations extending that probation to all facilities, including houses of correction.”

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.