Massachusetts' Biggest Halfway House in Relocation Issues Around Big MGM Casino Build  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

03/28/2015 -ATIN - In what really is about an ironic a situation as one can find in the addiction treatment industry, to make way for the construction of a big new casino by gaming operator MGM in Springfield, MA, a lot of businesses are going to have to move to make way for the big new gaming project. One of the businesses though is a state funded corrections-based addiction treatment center called The Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center, WMCAC, which houses and treats 182 inmates for addiction, unquestionably the demographic that is most at need when it comes to addiction treatment it being hard enough not to wind up back in prison with just a criminal record on your back but doubly so when the you've got the monkey addiction on your back as well.

Deal Fell Through

According to published reports, WMCAC, which is the biggest halfway house in Massachusetts, had a deal with developer to move the critical facility - in terms of recidivism and the like there are few things like corrections-based addiction treatment to bring down the numbers, in other words deliver "big bang for short dollar," - but that deal fell through leaving 182 of the nation's neediest with no place to go except back to regular prison routines at a regular prison as MGM wants everyone out by the end of March 2015 so it can stick to construction and development schedules.

Giving an Extension... a big so what?

After local press pressure late last week, MGM said it would grant the big halfway house an extension. In our opinion here at Treatment Magazine MGM as part of any deal allowing casino operation expansion - in case you haven't heard among the fastest growing forms of addiction in this nation is to gambling - MGM should have had to have provided a permanent home for a new WMCAC perhaps with twice the bed size and a state-of-the-art gambling treatment program; all gratis, of course, and at zero cost to taxpayer.

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Ted Jackson


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