Directions, Visiting Policy, Offender Programs
MCI-Cedar Junction is the maximum security reception center for male offenders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MCI-Cedar Junction also houses the Departmental Disciplinary Unit, or DDU.
In the early 1950's, Department of Correction officials recognized the need to replace the antiquated Charlestown Prison, and the construction of MCI-Walpole began. Work on the maximum security penitentiary was completed in 1955, and the new prison officially opened less than a year later. The original perimeter consisted of a wall with eight observation towers. An additional tower was recently constructed for the new DDU. The wall is twenty feet high, with five strands of electrical wire along the top. In the mid-1980's, the townspeople of Walpole sought a change in the name of the prison, and legislative action resulted in renaming the facility MCI-Cedar Junction - an old railroad station in the town.
MCI-Cedar Junction treatment/program services offers its inmates the opportunity to take part in educational, treatment and reintegration programs. They include mental health, educational, and substance abuse programs, as well as instruction in personal medical care. The inmates also have the opportunity to become involved in employment programs while at MCI-Cedar Junction consisting of Industries, Food Service and janitorial positions. Industries, is a correctional program designed to create inmate employment. The Industries Program at MCI-Cedar Junction is involved in the manufacture of motor vehicle license plates. Inmates' wages usually begin at $.50 per hour. This program enables inmates to develop employable work skills, which is the ultimate goal.
Effective June 2009, MCI Cedar Junction has been designated as the Massachusetts Department of Correction's Reception and Diagnostic Center. MCI Cedar Junction receives all new court commitments of the male offender.
After a specified period of time following an inmate's initial arrival into the prison system- usually twelve to sixteen weeks- an inmate will appear before the Classification Board, which will determine or recommend both a security rating and an institutional placement. The Classification Board will also make treatment recommendations designed to address the factors which may have led to commission of a crime. Participation in programs including substance abuse treatment, academic instruction, vocational programming, and counseling have done much to help offenders being the reintegration process.