Prison Suicides Soar In Massachusetts

A typical prisoner's cell. (Still Burning/Flickr)
A typical prisoner's cell (Still Burning/Flickr)

Prisons, by definition, are supposed to be secure facilities. Inmates' lives are organized, controlled and observed in a way that should guard against the unforeseen.

Yet under this close watch, eight prisoners in the Massachusetts Department of Correction have apparently committed suicide this year. Most were found hanging in their own cells. While eight might not seem like a huge number, it puts Massachusetts at four times the national average for prison suicides this year.

Now both the Department of Correction and prisoner advocates are asking, what's going on?

Related Stories:


  • Leslie Walker, executive director of Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, a nonprofit, government-funded prisoners' advocacy group
  • Sonari Glinton, WBUR reporter

This program aired on August 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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