Residents protest WMass Correctional Alcohol Center relocation

The Center would house about 180 recovering addicts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center is looking to move back to Springfield. Residents in Springfield’s North End came together Saturday to protest the possibility of inmates moving in next door.

Many Springfield residents were chanting Saturday, in an effort to keep the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center out of their area.

The Center would house about 180 recovering addicts, who are temporarily receiving treatment in Holyoke.

The low risk inmates were forced to leave the previous Howard St. location because of the MGM construction, but the concern people have with the new Wason Ave. location is that it’s just across the street from many families.

Jesus Matos, who lives right across the street from the possible location, told 22News he’s frustrated the city is not communicating with its residents. “It’s just going to affect us in so many ways, our property values, our quality of life. We’re not getting any answers and we felt, why wasn’t this getting told to us months ago?”

Residents held a protest Saturday, hoping that city officials would hear their concerns. Springfield’s Jafet Robles said, “The residents just want answers from our elected officials, from whoever knows about this issue and really has the power to make a difference. We want answers is the main deal that we’re saying in the community.”

The Hampden County Sheriff has held community outreach meetings to hear resident concerns. At this point the Wason Avenue location is still just a proposal.

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