Here's the report from the Boston's local ABC affiliate:
Thursday the House and Senate voted to make it illegal to civilly commit women with addictions to prison.
5 Investigates was granted exclusive access inside MCI Framingham last fall. It found more than 1,000 women had been sent to this prison unit over just five years, simply because they struggle with addiction and had been "sectioned" or civilly committed by a judge.
While locked up, they're not allowed access to addiction help and programs that are available to the inmates.
WCVB first exposed this practice 25 years ago, in a three-part series by Susan Wornick. At the time, she was told the practice would end.
Last fall, reform was finally recommended, coming from Gov. Charlie Baker in his bill to combat the opioid epidemic.
And today the House and Senate agreed to make it illegal to "section" addicted women to prison.
That marks the end of a long battle, according to the ACLU.
'After 25 years and a lawsuit we are glad to see they were able to come together and pass a bill to hopefully end this illegal practice,' says Jessie Rossman. 'No one should be sent to prison because they're suffering from the disease of addiction.'
The bill now heads to the governor's desk. He says he wholeheartedly supports it and will sign it. His team is now working to build a new secure facility in Taunton for sectioned women.
All the while, men have to be imprisoned for the same crime in Massachusetts and aren't said to be sick like the woman in the video implied how women had a "disease". From the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center:
"The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center is a truly unique Department of Correction facility. The facility houses two (2) very distinct populations: criminally sentenced, minimum-security, male inmates and civilly committed males participating in an up to 90-day detoxification program. Individuals participating in the program are committed to the facility under MGL 123, Section 35.
Inmates work in a variety of job assignments at the facility. Job assignments are intended to provide the offender with opportunities for positive behavioral change while developing work skills and dependable work ethics. Good time is granted for those inmates in paid job assignment positions."