Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick wants to build two to three assisted-living centers with bars for golden-ager inmates to serve their time in comfort, as part of an ambitious overhaul of the state's prison system due to be released today, the Boston Herald reports. The 400-page Corrections Master Plan was shown to sheriffs yesterday. It drew immediate criticism.
“There's no question that the population in the prisons is aging, but prison is prison,” said Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who said he'd rather see Patrick invest taxpayer money in programs to deter people from incarceration, rather than entice aging career criminals or any hard-luck residents into crime with the potentially alluring prospect of a comfortable retirement home and medical care. “(James) 'Whitey' Bulger killed 19 people,” Hodgson said. “I can't imagine there being too much concern whether he gets assisted living or sits in his cell. No one's being heartless about this, but do you know how much assisted living costs these days? When we can't offer those things to a homeless veteran or someone on a fixed income who can't afford it, what do they do?”