Worse than jail: Addicts civilly committed say DOC abused them and failed to treat them

Bridgewater 06/18/14- The death of Carmela Correia's son, Paul has been difficult for her since he died in custody at Bridgewater State Hospital in 2013.  Boston Globe staff photo by John Tlumacki(metro)
The Bridgewater State Hospital in 2013. –John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Iraida Hernandez was desperate to find help for her son, a developmentally disabled 26-year-old long addicted to heroin.

Regular treatment centers weren’t enough — he walked out almost as soon as he walked in. Finally, Hernandez told him she wanted him to enter a program that would forbid him from leaving.

He did not resist, and in late May stood beside his mother when she asked a judge to have him held under a law that allows the civil commitment of someone whose addiction to alcohol or drugs poses a serious risk of harm.