James “Whitey” Bulger, the Irish mob boss who was allegedly murdered by one or more inmates shortly after his arrival at a notoriously violent West Virginia prison, was the third inmate to be murdered by other inmates at that prison this year.
As CNN reports, US Penitentiary Hazelton is so violent that inmates and even members of Congress were sounding the alarm about the prison’s violence, months before Bulger even arrived there.
On Tuesday, as reported at the time by the Inquisitr, Bulger was dead just hours after arriving at the notorious prison, apparently beaten to death by other mobsters who purportedly tried to cut out his tongue.
Already in 2018, two inmates (besides Bulger) have been stabbed by other inmates at the notoriously-violent prison: one in April and one in September. In October, weeks before Bulger arrived there, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a letter to the Justice Department asking that conditions at the prison be looked into. Specifically, according to her website, she was concerned about whether or not that prison and similar maximum-security federal prisons were properly staffed.
“Serious allegations have been raised concerning brutal treatment of inmates housed in the Special Housing Unit. I urgently ask that you open an immediate investigation into the operations at Hazelton … Based on the evidence presented to my office, I believe that the federal employees serving in this facility have likely received inadequate training, are under-supported, and are being compelled to perform duties outside the scope of their positions and their training, which is leading to these horrific and entirely unacceptable outcomes.”
Similarly, the prison guards’ union says that many staff positions are vacant, and those that aren’t are filled by individuals who are not properly trained in managing violent inmates.
So understaffed is the prison that maintenance workers, nurses, and even teachers and accountants have been forced to act as guards at times.
Why Bulger was transferred to that particular prison remains unclear, as of this writing. Jose Rojas, who is the union boss for workers at the West Virginia prison, tells CBS News that Bulger should have never been transferred there in the first place. Not only is the prison notoriously violent, it also houses other New England mobsters, many of whom had associates killed by Bulger or ratted on by Bulger. Sending him there was a “death sentence,” says Rojas.
“You can’t send someone like Whitey Bulger there. Number one, because he’s high profile, and number two because he’s a snitch. Somebody dropped the ball when they designated him to Hazelton… It’s a death sentence.”
Whitey Bulger’s death remains under investigation.