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Gov. Baker Visits State's 1st Correctional Unit For Vets

Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian shows Gov. Charlie Baker the bunks of the Housing Unit for Military Veterans at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction in Billerica. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian shows Gov. Charlie Baker the bunks of the Housing Unit for Military Veterans at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction in Billerica. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The state's first correctional unit designed specifically for incarcerated veterans, at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction here in Billerica, had a special visitor on Thursday: Gov. Charlie Baker.

Eighteen inmates are housed together in the new Housing Unit for Military Veterans, which opened in mid-January.

Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian says the unit creates a community among incarcerated veterans who can share their military experiences and support each other. Governor Baker says the program is a good idea.

"And I think this type of program will give a lot of these folks, simply though the opportunity to be with one another, to start to believe that they they can, and I think that's a very good thing," Baker said.

Baker and Koutoujian held a roundtable discussion with a group of six incarcerated veterans on Thursday.

Many of the inmates in the unit suffer from addiction and PTSD. Programs offered are tailored to address the veterans' needs.

Baker and Koutoujian hold a roundtable discussion with a group of six incarcerated veterans on Thursday.(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Baker and Koutoujian hold a roundtable discussion with a group of six incarcerated veterans on Thursday.(Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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