Magazine article Corrections Forum

Prisons and Jails South of Boston Face Overcrowding

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Prisons and Jails South of Boston Face Overcrowding

Article excerpt

Associated Press

Inside the Norfolk County Correctional Center, within the cinder block walls of the segregation unit, three roommates share a cell that's about the size of a walk-in closet. When one of them rests on the bottom bunk, one sits at a tiny child-sized desk by the barred window, and the third perches on the edge of a metal toilet, there's not much personal space between them. In order to make room for more inmates, the jail's gymnasium has been transformed into a dormitory and is filled with rows of skinny triple-bunk beds. Inmates have also had to sleep on the floor in temporary plastic beds known as "canoes."

Such cramped conditions are not unique to the Norfolk County facility. Every prison and jail in Southeastern Massachusetts is operating over its capacity, and overcrowding is an issue facing every correctional institution in the state. "It's getting steadily worse," said Leslie Walker, executive director of Prisoners' Legal Services, a Bostonbased advocacy group. …

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