State To Spend $37M To Expand Billerica Jail

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The state has allocated $37 million to build two new wings to the Middlesex County jail in Billerica in an effort to alleviate overcrowding at the aging county jail in Cambridge.

Sheriff Peter Koutoujian says the two new buildings at the Middlesex House of Correction will have nearly 500 new beds combined.

Officials say the buildings are needed because currently more than 400 pretrial detainees are being held on the top four floors of the 22-story Edward Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge in space designed to hold 160 people. The courtrooms are no longer used and the building has been put out for bid to be redeveloped.

Koutoujian says the heat, plumbing and elevators are unreliable.

Meanwhile, the search continues for a permanent site to build another jail.

This program aired on November 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.