Section 6A: Licensing and approval of halfway houses
Section 6A. The department shall issue for a term of two years, and may renew for like terms, a license, subject to revocation by it for cause, to any person, other than a department, agency or institution of the federal government, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, deemed by it to be responsible and suitable to establish and maintain a halfway house for alcoholics. In the case of a department, agency or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, the department shall grant approval to establish and maintain a halfway house for alcoholics for a term of two years, and may renew such approval for like terms, subject to revocation by it for cause.
The department shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing requirements and standards for licensing and approval of halfway houses for alcoholics. Such rules and regulations shall not, however, establish educational nor professional requirements for the staff of any halfway house for alcoholics. The requirements and standards established in the rules and regulations shall include, but shall not be limited to:?
(1) The need for the halfway house;
(2) The range of therapeutic programs designed to meet the needs of the residents of the halfway house;
(3) Licensing fees, application and revocation procedures.
Each halfway house for alcoholics shall be individually licensed or approved.
Each halfway house for alcoholics shall file with the department from time to time, such data, statistics, schedules, or information as the department may reasonably require for the purposes of this section, and any licensee or other person operating a halfway house for alcoholics who fails to furnish such data, statistics, schedules or information as required, or who files fraudulent returns thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
The department, after holding a hearing in accordance with chapter thirty A, may refuse to grant, suspend, revoke, limit or restrict the applicability of any license or approval or refuse to renew any license or approval for any failure to meet the requirements of its rules, regulations or standards concerning such halfway houses.
No person, excepting a department, agency or institution of the federal government, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, shall operate a halfway house without a license and no department, agency or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof shall operate a halfway house for alcoholics without approval from the department pursuant to this section. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to restrain any violation of the provisions of this section and to take such other action as equity and justice may require to enforce its provisions.
Whoever knowingly establishes or maintains a halfway house for alcoholics without a license granted pursuant to this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
Each halfway house shall be subject to visitation and inspection by the department and the department shall inspect each facility prior to granting or renewing a license or approval. The department may examine the books and accounts of any facility if it deems such examination is necessary for the purpose of this section. The department is hereby authorized to make a complaint to a district court, to a justice of any court of record or to a magistrate authorized to issue warrants, who may thereupon issue a warrant to any officers or employees of the department authorizing them to enter and inspect at reasonable times, and to examine the books and accounts of any halfway house refusing to consent to such inspection or examination by the department which the department has reason to believe is operating in violation of the provisions of this section.