16 Aug Crackdown at Massachusetts Prison Leads to Litigation
A flurry of litigation has been filed in response to a violent crackdown at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts in early 2020 according to The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. The crackdown followed an assault in January 2020 in which four guards were injured. Although the assailants involved in the original attack against the guards had been removed from the prison, the guards initiated a crackdown on the remaining prisoners. Incarcerated men report being tased while handcuffed, kicked, beaten and having hair ripped out, all while guards used racial epithets.
Attorney Patty DeJuneas who represents two of the prisoners injured in the incident confirmed to the Boston Globe that the US Justice Department had contacted her about obtaining cellblock video of the day of the assault.
While assault allegations against prison guards are not unusual, Prisoner Legal Services of Massachusetts reports that there were more than 130 complaints of excessive force by prison guards in early 2020 which stands out in contrast to 4 complaints in the same time period in 2019 and 6 during the same time period in 2021.