It’s been a tricky few weeks for perhaps the most seasoned of politicians in western Massachusetts: Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe.
The novel is based in Revere, Massachusetts – the hometown of author Roland Merullo, who now lives in the hills of Hampshire County.
As MGM prepares to build its casino in Springfield’s South End, it’s bought up a cluster of properties, evicting businesses and organizations. Among them is the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center.
MGM has placed a February 28th deadline for the center to vacate its building. The facility houses about 125 inmates who are in substance abuse treatment.
A year after Vermont inmates housed at a Greenfield, Massachusetts jail rioted over conditions there, Vermont has discontinued its contract with that state to hold its prisoners.
Lois Ahrens of Northampton, Massachusetts runs what’s called “The Real Cost of Prisons Project,” which distributes information on the social and economic costs of mass incarceration. In the last two years, the project has used comic books to get its message out. Ahrens told WFCR’s Karen Brown that the prison population has swelled dramatically since the so-called war on drugs began. At last count, Ahrens says, 2.2 million people were incarcerated in the United States. To see the comic books, go online to www.realcostofprisons.org.