A man arrested during a clearing of the homeless encampment at the Mass and Cass corridor in Boston was denied medical treatment for substance use disorder and instead was detained overnight in a correctional facility in Worcester that has an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

Maxwell Kolodka, 33, of Gardner, was arrested on Southampton Street on Monday morning and stood trial at a makeshift courthouse in the Suffolk County House of Correction later that afternoon. Kolodka was brought in on four warrants for breaking and entering, operating under the influence and drug possession out of Newton, Roxbury and Fitchburg.

Despite requests from both Kolodka’s attorney and the prosecution, Boston Municipal Court Judge Paul M. Treseler denied a motion for Kolodka to detox in a treatment facility.

Kolodka instead spent the night at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, where 33 incarcerated people, ranging in age from 30 to 69, and two guards have been placed in quarantine after positive test results for COVID-19 came back on Sunday, according to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. That amounted to a 11 percent positivity rate in that round of testing.

“We did have a spike. But 33 — I don't consider it an outbreak, it just seems to be business as usual,” Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Superintendent David Tuttle said in a telephone interview with GBH News Tuesday. “It happened last year, too, in November and December. We had a slight uptick that was actually worse than this.”

A Boston Public Health Commission van is parked at the site of a former encampment at Mass and Cass, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021
Tori Bedford GBH News

The process of clearing the encampment is inhumane but unsurprising, according to Oren Nimni, litigation director at Rights Behind Bars.

“They’re sending people who might be immunocompromised or might have other medical conditions along with their substance use issues to jails and prisons where there are COVID outbreaks,” Nimni told GBH News. “What the system is essentially doing is sentencing people to potential long-term illness or death for a medical issue, substance use.”

Treseler has served on the central division of the Boston Municipal Court since 2019, when he was nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker and confirmed by the Governor's Council. He was previously chairman of the Massachusetts Parole Board and an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, serving as chief of the major felony bureau and the narcotics case integrity unit.

On Thursday and Friday of last week, 309 tests were administered to incarcerated people and staff members at the Worcester County Jail. As of Tuesday, 666 prisoners are being held at the Worcester House of Correction, which has a capacity for 1,252 prisoners. Tuttle said officials were able to shut down half of the building and quarantine those who have tested positive in their own wing.

“This is actually a perfect jail for coronavirus, because we're big and large and we have separate housing units where guys don't interact with each other,” Tuttle said. “We have identified them all. We have two housing units and the whole jail has been locked down for two weeks.”

Kolodka has been transferred to Fitchburg District Court and is scheduled to appear at a hearing there Tuesday, according to a court clerk.

Kolodka’s arrest was part of an ongoing effortby the city to remove or dispose of hundreds of tents at the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, a site where Boston Medical Center provides resources for substance use disorder, and people living in tents had formed a community in a growing encampment over the course of the last few years.

As part of Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey’s executive order, a makeshift court was set up in the Suffolk County House of Correction. From Monday through Wednesday this week, three defendants per day will be brought in before Judge Treseler for what the city is calling a “Community Resource Session.”

The purpose of this court session, according to a spokesperson from Janey’s office, is to place people with substance use disorder in treatment facilities and target those who commit “serious crimes” in the area.

“Mayor Janey wants nothing more than to protect the public health and public safety of those living in inhumane and unsafe conditions,” a city spokesperson said in a statement to GBH News Monday, “and to address those who prey upon them.”

Kolodka had been in four separate long-term treatment programs in the last year, according to public defender Josh Raisler Cohn, and was ready to try again.

Maxwell Kolodka, 33, stands trial at a makeshift courthouse in the Suffolk County Jail, November 1, 2021
Tori Bedford GBH News

“My client needs medically-assisted detox right now,” Cohn told the judge. “He does really demonstrate that he has been working very hard on his treatment. What he wants is an opportunity to continue to get help and to continue to work on the treatment that [he] knows will help him.”

Treseler denied the motion.

In a statement sent to GBH News, Cohn added that Kolodka "needed medical care, which is the stated purpose of this court. Instead he was subjected to a painful and dangerous detox and withdrawal, first while being transported to another county, and then in jail."

Out of the three defendants that Cohn represented on the first day of hearings, one, Patrick Michael Kennefick, 37, of West Roxbury, was placed at a treatment center in Quincy. Kennefick said he had left a treatment center in March of last year after a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the hospitalization of several residents.

The City of Boston had other options besides incarcerating individuals living on the streets near Mass and Cass, according to Nimni of Rights Behind Bars.

“In Janey’s initial memo on the issue, she did frame it as though these are people that are preying on poor people and doing trafficking in the community, but that's not actually what's going on,” Nimni said. “Framing it as though you're going to get people with substance use issues into treatment through criminal court is absurd. That's not the way the criminal court usually works. The main vehicle that the criminal court has of dealing with people is putting people in jail.”

Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated Oren Nimni's title.