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Massachusetts Correctional Institution's BX Unit Ruled Inhumane

Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater (MCI) representative, Frank Hall, and other officials objected to a magistrates report finding unconstitutional conditions of confinement at MCl's BX Unit (Unit). The report was adopted and remanded for the magistrate's remedial instruction as Special Master.

The 1974 report was based on a seven-day evidentiary hearing as well as three personal visits to the Unit. It alleged: too few toilets; night chamber pot usage was required; a lack of washing areas; uncleanliness of cooking and dining areas; shower disrepair; and very little heat, if any, for several days at a time. Hall objected arguing that the conditions were due to a lack of funds which they tried to obtain repeatedly.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that the magistrate's findings were appropriately concluded under Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 53(e)(2)'s standard for review. The court held that the defendant's good faith did not excuse the Eighth Amendment violations which were hazardous to health, promoted depression and despair, and violated article II of the State Sanitary Code. See: Bel v. Hall. 392 F. Supp. 274 (D. Mass. 1975).

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Related legal case

Bel v. Hall