Massachusetts To Start Double Bunking In Maximum Security


Many inmates at a Masschusetts maximum security prison in Shirley may soon have to double up in their cells, under a plan by the state to contend with the highest inmate count in 20 years, the Boston Globe reports. The Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center will become the only maximum security facility in the state to have double-bunking. Inmates at the prison, who sometimes spend more than 20 hours a day in their cells, protested the installation of additional beds last week. Leslie Walker of Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, said, “There are people who have had single cells for 20 and 30 years, and they are not looking forward to sharing a very small space.”

Double-celling has been allowed since 1981, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state prisons can house two inmates in a cell designed for one. In New York, 5,233 inmates, or about 20 percent of all maximum security prisoners, are sharing a cell. Connecticut long has double-celled inmates at maximum security prisons. In California, some inmates in maximum security prisons are double-celled, although not those on death row. “There have been instances where two cellmates got into fights and unfortunately we had some in-cell homicides as well,” said a prison spokeswoman. “You just have to be very careful about which two inmates you put in a cell.”


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