Defrocked priest Paul Shanley, sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison yesterday in Cambridge, Ma., for assaulting a Sunday school student, will be interviewed by prison staff members about his medical and social history, evaluated by a psychologist, strip-searched, and locked up alone for as long as a month until prison officials determine where he can be safely housed, says the Boston Globe.
Considering the 2003 prison slaying of Paul Geoghan, a former priest convicted of sexual abuse, Shanley will probably be monitored much more closely than has previously been done. Inmates convicted of sex crimes against children are generally considered to be at the greatest risk of being attacked by other inmates. Massachusetts Correction Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy, said that after Geoghan’s slaying, the department significantly increased supervision of its two protective custody units. Now, before a new inmate is introduced into a protective custody unit, the records of all the prisoners there are scoured for a possible conflict. After Geoghan’s slaying, officials were criticized for housing him in the same unit as his killer, who had professed a hatred of child molesters.