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Governor Baker's block of prison moratorium 'a slap in the face,' says anti-incarceration group

The Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk is the largest medium security level facility in Massachusetts.
Michael P. Norton
State House News Service
The Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk is the largest medium security level facility in Massachusetts.

A Massachusetts group opposed to the incarceration of women and girls says a decision by Governor Charlie Baker to block a five-year moratorium on prison construction from moving forward is not acceptable.

Baker signed a new bond bill last week, but excluded a five-year prohibition on building prisons and jails, which the Legislature had signed off on.

Mallory Hanora, executive director of Families for Justice as Healing, isn't happy about Baker's decision.

'We want to focus on reimagining our communities without prisons," she said. "This is slap in the face of constituents across the commonwealth that have been demanding something different."

The Baker Administration has considered plans to transfer incarcerated women from an aging facility in Framingham to a new one in Norfolk.

In a letter to lawmakers, Baker said the bond bill would restrict renovations on existing facilities.

Hanora said her group is calling on the Legislature to come back for a special session in September to override Baker's veto of the prison moratorium.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.

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