Federal lawsuit alleges more than 100 prisoners were beat, attacked at Souza prison
January 11, 2022
By Deb Becker
There is continued fallout from a lockdown at the state’s maximum security prison two years ago.
A federal class action lawsuit, filed by advocacy group Prisoners Legal Services (PLS) of Massachusetts, accuses state correction officials of violently retaliating against prisoners at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley after an assault on a correction officer in January 2020.
The lawsuit alleges that Souza officials attacked and beat more than 100 prisoners after the assault. It claims officers especially targeted prisoners of color in the weeks following the assault in what the suit calls a “retaliatory force campaign.”
“This unconstitutional brutality included beating and kicking prisoners; gouging eyes; grabbing testicles; smashing faces into the ground or wall; deploying Taser guns, pepperball guns, and other chemical agents; ordering K9s to menace and bite prisoners; and excessively tightening handcuffs and forcing prisoners’ arms into unnatural and painful positions, among other positional torture tactics,” the suit reads.