After NECIR story, feds investigate treatment of elderly prisoners

Photo: Michael Coghlin, Creative Commons.

Federal prosecutors are investigating the Massachusetts state prison system over the treatment of elderly and severely ill prisoners, following a five-month investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) published in the Boston Globe and WGBH News.

The move by prosecutors was reported in the Boston Globe.

NECIR showed that Massachusetts has one of the oldest inmate populations in the country and one of the last to pass a compassionate release program. The state buries inmates in prison-run cemeteries and cares for them in what are essentially nursing homes behind bars.

Some say older inmates are frightened to leave their cells in a system filled with younger, gang-involved inmates. Others question whether they seniors get adequate health care, shackled as they are transported to the hospital for chemo and other treatments. NECIR obtained a troubling┬ávideo of a 72-year-old man walking with a cane who was killed at the state’s maximum security prison in 2014 while inmates milled about and a guard remained at his post.

Read the NECIR series.