BILLERICA — Officials pitched it as a “temporary” home for pre-trial detainees. It was the fall of 2012, and officials were announcing a $37 million plan to expand the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica to house those prisoners from the Cambridge Jail. They continued to stress, however, that the relocation of detainees would only be temporary while officials looked for a 5-acre site to build the Southern Middlesex Justice Center.
Last year, the late Sen. Ken Donnelly and Rep. Marc Lombardo sponsored a resolve to establish a commission to investigate sites for the jail.
Like Lombardo, Sen. Cindy Friedman — who succeeded Donnelly, and was his chief of staff — supports housing detainees at a new site in southern Middlesex County. The state needs to fulfill this commitment, she emphasized. “I’m very much supportive of the project, and would like to see it move forward,” Friedman said.