From "Reformatory" to "Correctional Center"

Courtesy of: Framingham Public Library

Written by - Chelsea Miller

The Massachusetts Reformatory for Women in Sherborn, MA, opened in 1877. The prison’s founder, Hannah Chickering, envisioned a domestic, “cottage”-style architecture for the reformatory, but the fortress-like penitentiary model prevailed. The town of Framingham acquired 565 acres in Sherborn, including the prison and its grounds in 1924. Four “cottages” were added in 1965 to expand capacity.

Today, the women’s prison is known as the Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Framingham (MCI-Framingham). As its population expanded in recent years, Massachusetts Department of Corrections moved to build a new women’s correctional facility in Chicopee, MA, which would become the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center. This action prompted demonstrations from prison/justice activists from 2003 to 2006.