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State report: Reform forced addiction treatment process

July 6, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A state commission is recommending Massachusetts end the practice of sending men with substance abuse issues to correctional facilities for treatment.

The report released this week by the Section 35 Commission also opposes efforts to expand use of civil commitment and calls for reforms to the court-ordered process.

The commission declined to back proposals giving nurse practitioners civil commitment authority and allowing persons to be involuntary committed for up to 72 hours without a court hearing. It also did not support forced hospitalization of those dealing with addiction.

Those and other proposals were put forward by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker last year to stem the opioid epidemic. Lawmakers created the study commission instead.

Massachusetts was sued in March over the practice of sending men to prisons for addiction treatment.

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