After his murder conviction Wednesday, Aaron Hernandez is headed to MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole, a maximum-security facility where he will await permanent placement in the state’s prison system.
The former New England Patriots star will be locked up only a mile and a half away from Gillette Stadium, where he once caught touchdown passes amid cheers for the NFL team.
Here are some other facts about the transitional center:
• It was built in 1955 as a maximum-security prison, and known for years as MCI-Walpole. The town pushed for a new name in the 1980s, and the state chose Cedar Junction — after an old rail station nearby.
• The facility was converted in 2009 from a prison to a transitional center, which means it takes in new male inmates for the state court system.
The men usually stay there for 12 to 16 weeks, according to a state website, then appear before a board that recommends a security rating and placement.
• Boston Globe reporter David Abel visited Cedar Junction in 2011, as part of a tour of the state’s prison system in which he was locked in chains and wore prison garb. Here’s a selection from his article:
“New inmates are strip searched – with every orifice checked – scanned for metal objects and other contraband, fingerprinted, and given starchy gray scrubs, ill-fitting canvas shoes without laces, and a paper bag with essentials, including a dull razor, seven pairs of underwear, and a special pen designed so it can’t be used as a weapon. Any possessions, including their street clothes, are either destroyed or mailed home.
Correction officers and other staff check newbies for gang symbols, conduct medical and psychological evaluations, and advise them that bad behavior could affect whether they are classified to a maximum-security prison or a lower-security facility.”