Casino leaves future of corrections facility unclear

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As the MGM Springfield project moves forward, there is uncertainty about what will happen with the correctional facility that lies in its path. The Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center is located in a building on Howard Street that was owned by a realty company. It was sold to MGM Springfield for over $4 million in December

State officials visited the facility to see what can be done before the lease ends next month. The facility has treated 17,225 people since opening in 1985. The facility is co-ed and 88% of people have completed the program that separates people who have had alcohol-related offenses from the general prison population.

Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe says he will not abandon something that has made such a positive impact on the community. “I’m fighting for this program and fighting for the excellence of this program and I want it to continue,” he told 22News. “So I’m going to do everything I can to put the helmet on, if you will, and try to make this happen.”

Sheriff Ashe will be going to Washington D.C. to discuss the issue further with politicians and the gaming commission. The Sheriff said they are considering other buildings in the area, but it will be costly to retrofit any future facility for what is needed.

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