Franklin County Jail, Greenfield, Massachusetts
July 7, 2011

At least 15 Vermont prisoners housed in the Massachusetts jail refuse to lock down in their cells and destroy prison infrastructure and throw furniture, blankets and other debris “over the railing” on to the tier below. The uprising lasts approximately 3 hours before it is subdued by prison guards.

In an op-ed for the VT Digger, prison advocate Gordon Bock with the Vermont’s Corrections Citizens Advisory Group writes:

“Family members of those incarcerated at the Greenfield facility when havoc erupted on July 7 complain that:

Some Greenfield cells built for two men have been holding three.

There is no outside recreation and thus no “steam-valve” relief in the form of a vigorous basketball or volleyball contest that can mitigate the effect of keeping testosterone in a cage.

Visits to the medium-security jail occur in the classic maximum-security scenario seen in movies and television, with inmate and loved one talking on phones separated by a thick glass pane.”

Citations:

Franklin County Jail in Greenfield remains in lockdown following overnight disturbance“, Mass Live, July 8, 2011.

Vermont jail chief: State’s cons led riot at Franklin County Jail and House of Detention“, Mass Live, July 11, 2011.

Vt. jail chief says state’s cons caused Mass melee“, The Berkshire Eagle, July 11, 2011.

Bock: Greenfield jail riot a symptom of pressure-cooker conditions“, VT Digger, July 20, 2011.