Former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has moved to a new prison, one week after he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was transferred to Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, after spending a week at MCI Cedar-Junction in Walpole for processing.
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) April 16, 2015
According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Hernandez is inmate number W106228 at the maximum security prison. If officials decide to place him in solitary confinement at Souza, Leslie Walker, director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, tells CNN that it will be “torture” and a “very hard time” for Hernandez.
“Solitary confinement is a kind of torture that no one does well in. The lack of meaningful sensory stimulus and contact drives people mad. It’s very hard time.”
If Hernandez is placed in protective custody, it could be temporary. The former NFL player could then face a different kind of torture in general population, with his celebrity status making him the target of prison gangs.
“He will have a celebrity status with some people, but he also has been convicted of killing an African American man, and he is Latino man and there are lots of gang issues at Souza Baranowski. There could be prisoners with a beef who are out to get him.”
The prison opened in 1998, and is the most modern, high-tech prison in the state — it’s a change from the outdated, 59-year-old Cedar-Junction facility Hernandez spent the first week of his life sentence in. According to author Ted Cornoyer, Souza “has the bland, linoleum-and-fluorescent aesthetics of a hospital.”
Despite the clean, sterile looking interior, and the 366 surveillance cameras that monitor every move inside and outside of the prison, Souza Baranowski is said to have the highest rate of prisoner-on-prisoner violence in the state. It houses 1,600 inmates, and most of them are Massachusetts’ most dangerous criminals.
CNN reports that Aaron Hernandez won’t have a lot to do during his life sentence at Souza Baranowski. He will spend much of his day in a small cell, with a bunk, toilet, sink, and a small writing desk attached to the walls. If he has money in his inmate account, he can pay around $200 for a small prison-approved television. This may be his only diversion, as his cell will has only one 4 by 20 inch window looking outdoors, and a small window in the door to his cell.
There is one positive for Hernandez now that he is serving time at Souza Baranowski — visitation privileges. According to CBS, he has not been allowed to have direct contact with visitors, including his young daughter, Avielle, since his June, 2013, arrest. At Souza, he can see visitors three times a week, and will be able to hold hands.
According to the Herald News, Aaron Hernandez‘s attorneys filed a notice of appeal of his conviction with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday. A hearing date has not been scheduled.
In addition to the appeal, there is a pending double murder trial set to begin later in the year, and Hernandez may be called to testify in the wrongful death suit brought against him by Odin Lloyd’s family.
[Images: Peter Wilson/WBZ, Massachusetts DOC]