Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham

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Massachusetts Correctional Institution- Framingham
LocationFramingham, Massachusetts
Security classMedium/ Awaiting Trial Unit-Maximum
Managed byMassachusetts Department of Correction
DirectorSuperintendent Allison Hallett
Street address99 Loring Drive
ZIP Code01701

Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham (MCI - Framingham) is the Massachusetts Department of Correction's institution for female offenders. It is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, a city located midway between Worcester and Boston. The prison was once known as "Framingham State Prison". However, MCI Framingham is its official name and is favored.


The prison opened in 1877 and was the second prison for women opened in the U.S. Several references note it as the oldest female correctional institution (of those still in operation) in the United States. Its original name was the Sherborn Reformatory for Women, because at the time of its establishment it was located in that town. In 1924, the town of Framingham acquired 565 acres in Sherborn, including the prison and its grounds.[1]

The reformatory aimed not only to incarcerate but to change the lives of inmates through work and other productive activities. The women worked a large farm and in later years other trades and manufacturing enterprises were tried. Visitors came to learn from the practices of the reformatory and its leaders. Several of its superintendents were well-known prison reformers including Ellen Cheney Johnson (1884–1899), Jessie Donaldson Hodder (1911–1932), and Miriam Van Waters (1932–1957). The prison's best-known superintendent, however, was Clara Barton, who served for eight months during a leave from her work with the Red Cross. The prison also employed female guards and physicians, and included both men and women among its board of visitors.

Among the inmates who served time at Framingham were the 19th century bandits from the Oklahoma Territory known as Little Britches and Cattle Annie, depicted in the 1981 film, Cattle Annie and Little Britches.[2]

MCI-Framingham today[edit]

MCI-Framingham is currently a medium-security correctional facility for female offenders. The prison houses both state and county offenders, as well as those awaiting sentencing. There are prisoners of a variety of classification levels. Sixty-three percent of the inmates are there for non-violent offenses, most often involving drugs.

Some female inmates arrested in the Boston area are incarcerated at Boston's South Bay House of Correction under the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.[3]

MCI-Framingham prison is reported to be the most overcrowded in the state. Three-quarters of the women in this prison are mothers. The design capacity for MCI-Framingham is 452 inmates. It currently houses 656 female inmates at a 145% occupancy percentage.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parr, J.; Swope, K.A. (2009). Framingham Legends & Lore. History Press. p. 93. ISBN 9781596295650. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "Cattle Annie & Little Britches". Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  3. ^ South Bay House of Correction Archived 2012-04-13 at the Wayback Machine - Suffolk Country Sheriff's Department website

External links[edit]

  • MCI - Framingham - Commonwealth of Massachusetts prison information, Official Website of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS)
  • "More Women Prisoners", WBUR, 2000, Trustees of Boston University. Radio Interview with MCI – Framingham Prison Superintendent.

Coordinates: 42°16′01.34″N 71°24′25.22″W / 42.2670389°N 71.4070056°W / 42.2670389; -71.4070056