Push to open region-wide lockup sites Sentinel & Enterprise

BOSTON — If lawmakers give county sheriffs the funds and leeway to open up region-wide lockup facilities for detainees, Middlesex County would need to expand its current jail facility — but its current staff could handle the influx of prisoners, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian says.

Sen. Cindy Friedman, Donnelly’s successor and former chief of staff, said she has heard from several concerned police chiefs who feel the bill would save money in the long run. The bill filed last session was reported favorably out of committee before stalling.

Friedman, a Democrat whose district includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington and Lexington, said the Senate Ways and Means Committee expressed some concerns last session about the funding of the facility. “This time we’re gonna try and address those issues for them, so people feel comfortable about it,” she said.

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