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The Worst Prisons in the State of Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to the worst prisons in the state of Massachusetts, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be discussing the top prisons that have a reputation for being the most challenging places to serve time. From high-security facilities to county jails, we’ll provide you with the essential information you need to know about each prison and what makes them stand out.

Introduction to Massachusetts Prisons

Before we dive into the specifics of each prison, it’s essential to understand the basics of the Massachusetts prison system. The state has a total of 16 prisons, including seven maximum-security facilities, five medium-security facilities, and four minimum-security facilities. Additionally, Massachusetts has ten county jails and houses approximately 8,000 inmates.

The Worst Prisons in Massachusetts

  1. Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center
    1. High-Security Prison
    2. Location: Shirley, MA
    3. Known for its extreme lockdown measures and high level of violence, including attacks on staff and inmates. The prison gained notoriety after a high-profile murder of a correctional officer in 2019.
  2. MCI-Cedar Junction
    1. Maximum-Security Prison
    2. Location: Walpole, MA
    3. Known for its history of riots and violence, including one of the deadliest prison riots in U.S. history in 1973, which resulted in the death of three inmates and two correctional officers.
  3. Massachusetts Treatment Center
    1. Medium-Security Prison
    2. Location: Bridgewater, MA
    3. Known for its population of sex offenders, the Massachusetts Treatment Center has been criticized for inadequate treatment programs and for being understaffed.
  4. Suffolk County House of Correction
    1. County Jail
    2. Location: Boston, MA
    3. Known for its overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, the Suffolk County House of Correction has been the subject of several lawsuits regarding prisoner mistreatment and inadequate medical care.
  5. Plymouth County Correctional Facility
    1. County Jail
    2. Location: Plymouth, MA
    3. Known for its high suicide rate among inmates, the Plymouth County Correctional Facility has been criticized for its inadequate mental health services.
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Massachusetts has its fair share of challenging and controversial prisons. From extreme lockdown measures to inadequate treatment programs, each facility presents unique challenges for its inmates and staff. By understanding the specifics of each prison, we can better address the issues facing the Massachusetts prison system.


  1. What is the difference between a county jail and a state prison in Massachusetts?
    • County jails house individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial, while state prisons house individuals who have been convicted of a crime and are serving their sentence.
  2. Can inmates file complaints about mistreatment in Massachusetts prisons?
    • Yes, inmates can file complaints through the Department of Correction’s Inmate Grievance Resolution System.
  3. How are prisons in Massachusetts funded?
    • Prisons in Massachusetts are primarily funded through state taxes and federal grants.
  4. How does Massachusetts compare to other states in terms of prison conditions?
    • Massachusetts is generally regarded as having better prison conditions than many other states in the U.S.
  5. Can family members visit inmates in Massachusetts prisons?
    • Yes, family members can visit inmates in Massachusetts prisons, but there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed.

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