Massachusetts has some of the worst prisons in the country. A few of them rank among the worst in the world. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the worst prisons in the state of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts, with a population of 6.8 Million according to the 2022 census, has a total number of 16 correctional facilities and is the 5th largest state facility in the state for hiring and has over 5,000+ employees according to the Wikipedia report here.
Why are Massachusetts prisons the worst?
There are several reasons why Massachusetts prisons are the worst in the country. One reason is that the state does not invest enough in its prisons. As a result, prisoners are often forced to live in overcrowded and unsafe conditions.
Another reason why Massachusetts prisons are so bad is that the state has a very high recidivism rate. This means that many prisoners who are released from prison end up returning to jail because they cannot find jobs or housing and lack the necessary support to stay out of trouble.
Finally, Massachusetts prisons are also plagued by a high level of violence. Prisoners are often the victims of assaults by other prisoners, and there have been several murders in the state's prisons in recent years.
Overview of Prisons in the state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts prisons have a long and complicated history. The first prison in the state was opened in 1805 at Charlestown, Boston. The Massachusetts prison system comprises various minimum to maximum facilities: male jails and female and juvenile prisons. The prisons are all maximum security facilities and house over 5,000 inmates. The average daily population of inmates is around 4,500.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) runs the prisons. The DOC is headed by a Commissioner, who the Governor appoints. The DOC has a budget of over $800 million and employs over 4,000 people.
The DOC is responsible for many functions, including housing inmates, providing medical care, mental health care; education and job training; and public safety. The DOC has been criticized recently for its high cost and poor performance.
List of Worst Prisons in the State of Massachusetts
- North Central Correctional Institution
- South Middlesex Correctional Center
- Boston Pre-Release Center
- Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Concord
- Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction
- Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Norfolk
- Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham
1. North Central Correctional Institution
North Central Correctional Institution is a medium/minimum security prison in Gardner, MA. The eighteen buildings within the facility are surrounded by two chain-linked fences topped with razor wire. Three towers and foot patrols of K9 teams guard the perimeter.
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections governs it. NCCI is a low-medium security prison because of its interior design. It's a former state hospital that's been converted into a dormitory-style housing facility. Adult male felons serving sentences from 2.5 years to life comprise the prison population. There were 974 general population beds in January 2020.
The prison is overcrowded and understaffed, leading to dangerous conditions for inmates and corrections officers. The prison is also infested with bedbugs, and the food is reported to be of poor quality. These conditions make North Central Correctional Institution one of the worst prisons in Massachusetts.
2. South Middlesex Correctional Center
South Middlesex Correctional Center (SMCC) is a small, minimum security/pre-release state prison that opened in 1976 as part of MCI-Framingham. The main building of the South Middlesex Correctional Center is three stories tall and has a completely occupied basement.
In 2002, the institution became entirely female, with male and female inmates housed there previously. It now houses sentenced county and DOC females imprisoned in Massachusetts.
Today it operates as a facility for women inmates. Most, if not all, females work in the community during the day under an average wage of $7/day.
Prison is one of the worst places a woman can be in. there have been repeated cases of sexual harassment and adults. And there are no basic facilities provided to the prisoners.
3. Boston Pre-Release Center
The Boston Pre-Release Center is a minimum security correctional facility located on Canterbury Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts. The current facility opened in 2003 and contained 90 inmates in general population beds as of January 6, 2020. It is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
The Boston Pre-Release Center was the first pre-release correctional facility in Massachusetts, opening in November 1972. The BPRC's new home on Canterbury Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts, opened on October 31, 2003.
The Center is a 200-bed facility built to help prisoners transition from prison to society. The facility works with inmate labor crews led by correctional officers to accomplish tasks in and around the city of Boston and its surrounding communities.
Because of continuous violence cases and reports of mistreatment, the pre-release facility inmate population has been reduced to make it a survival place. This reform indicates how bad the situation has been in the center.
4. Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Concord
MCI-Concord is a United States prison located in Concord, Massachusetts, which opened in 1878. It remains the oldest running state prison for men in Massachusetts and comes under the Massachusetts Department of Correction jurisdiction. As of January 6th, 2020, 581 inmates were being held at this medium security facility.
On July 4, 1882, at midnight, prisoners at the Concord Reformatory began making noise by shouting and banging on doors. The Warden eventually revoked their yard privileges as punishment for the disturbance initially caused. This resulted in inmates destroying wooden doors and furniture within the prison. The rioting stopped after three days had passed.
On November 22, 1972, eighty-nine inmates in E Building rioted and caused a major disturbance. Fourteen correction officers requested assistance from seventy-five state police officers armed with four sharpshooters. The group was sent to the Concord Reformatory with orders to subdue the uprising.
5. Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction
The Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Cedar Junction (MCI-Cedar Junction), formally known as MCI-Walpole, is a maximum security state prison housing male offenders. It was opened in 1956 to replace Charlestown State Prison. As of January 6, 2020, 346 Maximum and 65 Medium inmates were numbering the general population beds.
Some of the most notable inmates in this prison are Tony Costa, Wayne Lo, Albert DeSalvo, and John Salvi. According to the Department of Corrections, as of April 2022, Cedar Junction will be closed in just two years due to declining imprisonment rates (currently the lowest in 35 years) and expensive maintenance.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) states that repairing Cedar Junction's infrastructure would cost approximately $30 million; therefore, the DOC has decided to use the money for delivering competent care and services to those under their supervision.
6. Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Norfolk
The Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk, or MCI-Norfolk, is a medium security prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts, run by the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Despite its high-security classification, it houses up to 98 maximum security inmates. The state's largest prison facility, MCI-Norfolk, opened in the early 1930s. On January 6, 2020, there were 1,251 prisoners housed in general population cells.
The noted inmate Malcolm X was also a member of the Norfolk Debating Society while incarcerated at MCI-Norfolk.
One of the most horrifying events to ever happen in jail occurred on July 31, 1972, when two Corrections Officers, Alfred Baranowski and James Souza, were shot and killed by an inmate using a smuggled firearm during an escape attempt. To commemorate the officers who lost their lives that day, the Department of Corrections named their new supermax prison after them and called it the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.
7. Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham
The Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham (MCI - Framingham) is the center for female offenders in Massachusetts. It is midway between two bustling cities, Worcester and Boston, in Framingham. The prison was once known by its old name, "Framingham State Prison." However, MCI Framingham has since been favored as its official name among staff and inmates. And as of May 2022, an estimated 190 inmates reside within the institution's walls.
MCI-Framingham is currently a medium-security correctional facility for female offenders. The prison houses both state and county offenders, as well as those who are awaiting sentencing. There are prisoners of a variety of classification levels. Sixty-three percent of the inmates are there for non-violent offenses, most often involving drugs.
The Boston area's South Bay House of Correction houses female prisoners under the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.
Mainly, the prisoners are drug addicts who often are irritated and more violent inmates in prison, injuring themselves and other inmates. The prison’s healthcare system is not that good, typically required in prisons like this.
PS: Worst Prisons in the State of Massachusetts:
If you are looking for some of the worst prisons in Massachusetts, we have listed the top 10 worst prisons in Massachusetts state and mentioned some of the popular accidents caused by those prisons. The metrics we used to identify these prisons as the worst are related to the type of prisoners sent to these prisons and the uncivil behavior of the prisoners.
You can also read articles related to this topic;
- 10 Worst Prisons In The State of Kansas
- 10 Worst Prisons in the State of Virginia
- The 10 Worst Prisons In The State of Oregon
- 10 Worst Prisons In The State of New Hampshire
- 10 Worst Prisons in the State of Oklahoma
- 7 Worst Prisons in The State of Utah
- 6 Worst Prisons In The State of Hawaii
- 6 Worst Prisons In The State Of Alaska
- 10 Worst Prisons In The State of Montana
- 7 Worst Prisons In The State Of New Mexico