Lawmakers visit Shirley prison after brutal assault

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The fight happened on January 10, but since then, there have been numerous reports from inmates inside Souza-Baranowski about the conditions there, which caught the attention of several top state lawmakers.

Last week, House Speaker Rober DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and several of his legislative colleagues toured the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center for more than 3 hours.

Union representatives for the prison guards told Speaker DeLeo that the state’s 2018 criminal justice reform laws may have contributed to the fight, but he rejects that notion.

“I felt, and I think that most people feel anyways, that in terms of what we had done in that legislation, really, I could not see the nexus between the law that we had passed and what had occurred there,” DeLeo said.

The families of past and present inmates are putting pressure on lawmakers to pass additional criminal justice reform laws to improve the conditions at all Massachusetts prisons.

Governor Charlie Baker said he trusts the Department of Corrections to conduct a full investigation, but he has not commented on whether he supports additional reforms.

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