An investigation into allegations of inadequate conditions at the Massachusetts Department of Correction has found that the prison system is violating inmates' constitutional rights, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
The two-year investigation, which began in October 2018, looked at mental health care of inmates and whether it led to self-harm or death, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
"Our investigation found cause to conclude that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections fails to properly supervise and accommodate prisoners suffering from serious mental health issues," said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement. "The conditions at MDOC facilities show how systemic deficiencies in prison facilities can compound each other and amount to constitutional violations."
Investigators reviewed a range of documents, including incident reports and mental health records, and interviewed hundreds of prisoners as well as administrative, security and mental health staff. It did not appear that the probe would prompt charges against the state.
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Lelling said the Department of Correction cooperated with the investigation and that his team "look(s) forward to working with state prison authorities to implement reform measures."
A prison system spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday.