PLS and Board announce transition of Executive Director, Elizabeth Matos 

June 28th, 2023  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  BOSTON– Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts’ (PLS) Board President Patricia Garin announced today that PLS’ Executive Director, Elizabeth Matos, will be leaving in September to join the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office as Civil Rights Division Chief and Senior Advisor to Attorney General Andrea Campbell.   “It was with mixed emotions that […]

Changing incarceration trends lead to prison closure

Walpole will stop housing prisoners in 2024 Commonwealth MagazineBy Shira SchoenbergApril 8, 2022 THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT of Correction on Thursday made a surprising announcement: MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole will stop housing prisoners over the next two years. The reason the department gave was declining numbers of inmates and increasing costs. Or, in DOC-speak, “a thorough assessment of […]

2 Mass. prisons mishandled COVID and neglected prisoners, report by disability advocates claims

WBURBy Deborah BeckerMarch 28, 2022 Some Massachusetts prisons fell short in handling the coronavirus pandemic and neglected disabled and medically vulnerable prisoners, according to an investigation by the Disability Law Center. A new Disability Law Center (DLC) report released Monday examined coronavirus mitigation efforts within specialized medical units at MCI-Norfolk and MCI-Shirley. Among the more serious findings […]

New bill proposes civilian oversight for Massachusetts prisons

Senator James Eldridge calls for independent oversight to help reform the agency, currently facing two federal lawsuits alleging misconduct The Boston GlobeJanuary 11, 2022By Mark Arsenault Amid two federal lawsuits alleging excessive force by Massachusetts prison officials, a leading critic of the Department of Correction has filed a bill to establish independent civilian oversight of […]

Federal lawsuit alleges more than 100 prisoners were beat, attacked at Souza prison

WBURJanuary 11, 2022By 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 spending rises while incarcerated population declines in Massachusetts

WBURJanuary 4, 2022By Chris Lisinski The incarcerated population in Massachusetts has been dropping steadily for close to a decade at the same time that spending on corrections has been growing, divergent trends that prompted reform advocates to call Tuesday for more transparent reporting from state government. As a panel of lawmakers, sheriffs, administration officials and […]

Mass. trial courts to decrease jurors in pool, prioritize certain cases amid COVID-19 surge

GBHDecember 30, 2021By Sarah Betancourt Amid surging coronavirus rates, Massachusetts’ trial court system will make changes to which cases it hears, and how many jurors it calls up in January. The silver lining to some is that the trial system’s move to prioritize cases where people are already incarcerated could expedite their potential freedom. Elizabeth […]