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Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction

The Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Cedar Junction (MCI-Cedar Junction), formerly known as MCI-Walpole, is a maximum security prison with an average daily population of approximately 800 adult male inmates under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Correction. It was opened in 1956 to replace Charlestown State Prison, the oldest prison in the nation at that time. MCI-Cedar Junction is one of two (the other one being Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center) maximum security prisons for male offenders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MCI-Cedar Junction also houses the Departmental Disciplinary Unit (DDU). During the 1970s, Cedar Junction (then known as Walpole) was one of the most violent prisons in the United States.[3] It is located on both sides of the line between the towns of Walpole and Norfolk, and has a South Walpole mailing address. (South Walpole is not a political entity.)

Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Cedar Junction
LocationWalpole / Norfolk, Massachusetts (South Walpole postal address, ZIP code 02071)
Coordinates42°6′20.1″N 71°17′23.9″W / 42.105583°N 71.289972°W / 42.105583; -71.289972Coordinates: 42°6′20.1″N 71°17′23.9″W / 42.105583°N 71.289972°W / 42.105583; -71.289972
Security classLevel 6 (Maximum)[1]
Population722[2] (as of January 1, 2017)
Managed byMassachusetts Department of Correction
DirectorActing Superintendent Michael Rodrigues

In 1955, Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, built Our Lady of the Ransom Chapel at the center of the prison.

As of June 2009, MCI-Cedar Junction is now the Department of Correction's reception and diagnostic center which receives all new male court commitments within the Commonwealth.

1973 UprisingEdit

After the Attica prison massacre, the residents of Walpole formed a prisoners' union to protect themselves from guards, end behavioral modification programs, advocate for the prisoners' right to education and healthcare, and attain more visitation rights, work assignments, and the ability to send money to their families. The union also ended race-related violence within the prison, creating a general truce, including an ethnic truce and an agreement to kill any inmate who broke said truce. During the black prisoner's Kwanzaa celebration, the black prisoners were placed in lockdown, angering the whole facility and leading to a general strike. Prisoners refused to work or leave their cells for three months, leading to the guards beating prisoners, putting prisoners in solitary confinement, and denying prisoners medical care and food.[4]

The strike ended in the prisoners' favor as the superintendent of the prison resigned. The prisoners were granted more visitation rights and work programs.

Notable inmatesEdit

  • Tony Costa - Serial killer believed to have brutally murdered and dismembered four women (possibly more than nine). He committed suicide by hanging in his cell on May 12, 1974.


  1. ^ "Security Levels". Mass. Executive Office of Public Safety. Retrieved 2007-12-20.
  2. ^ Massachusetts Department of Corrections. "Inmate and prison research statistics: January 1, trends snapshot". Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Kauffman, Kelsey. Prison Officers and Their World. Harvard University Press. 1988
  4. ^ Gelderloos, Peter. Anarchy Works.

External linksEdit