Members of the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union (MCOFU) sent a letter to Governor Healey on Thursday, saying in part they’re “deeply troubled” by the planned closure of MCI-Concord in June.
The medium-security men’s prison reportedly employs 300 MCOFU members and houses over 300 inmates.
“With the planned closing we are concerned over how this will happen logistically and how it will place our other facilities at an increased threat level,” the letter reads.
Union leaders are worried the inmates at MCI-Concord will be re-classified to lower security facilities, which they say puts both officers and inmates at risk.
Citing a 2022 incident where Correction Officer Matthew Tidman was nearly beaten to death by an inmate, the MCOFU says things like that happen when higher security level inmates slip through the transfer cracks and are placed in lower security facilities.
“We understand that the number of inmates is down from years past but the inmates that are currently incarcerated are some of the most dangerous and violent offenders,” the letter to Healey says. “We are asking you and your administration to stop the closing of Concord and study the impact this will have in our correctional system.”
According to the union, MCI-Concord closing would be the fourth prison in three years in the state to close, which they say “stretches the system too thin, with no viable plan to house these most dangerous inmates.”
In a statement, the Department of Corrections (DOC) says they’re committed to addressing any safety concerns.
“Commissioner Mici and the DOC leadership team are deeply committed to working closely with employees and their union representatives to address any safety concerns and to ensure a fair and equitable relocation of all affected staff to other facilities,” a DOC spokesperson said. “We are grateful to our corrections staff for their hard work and service. As we continue to shape the future of our agency, we are confident that together we can take this essential step to eliminate redundancies, enhance efficiency and ensure a more effective and impactful correctional system while still ensuring the safety of our staff and incarcerated individuals.”
MCI-Concord is the state’s oldest operating men’s prison in Massachusetts.
Below is a full version of the MCOFU’s letter:
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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