Those who follow the rough ways of the mob remember the year 1962 and possibly the most significant murder that took place behind bars. It was the botched pre-fight that Joseph Valachi performed in the courtyard of the federal prison in Atlanta. He had mounted a length of three-quarters of an inch galvanized iron pipe with a brass tap.
With repeated blows, Mr. Valachi came crushing the skull of a man he thought was another mafia figure whom he believed had killed him. The murder prompted Valachi to protect himself from the FBI, to collaborate and testify before the 1963 Congress. He was the first mob to publicly admit that the mafia existed.
Mr. One will also remember Bulger's death.
A shortage of prison guards has become chronic in the Trump administration, with the result that some prison workers feel ill-prepared and insecure, as a recent New York Times study revealed. Prisons in some prisons are so pressured that they regularly force teachers, nurses, secretaries and other support staff to intervene.
In particular, the prison in Hazelton was plagued by violence. The prison has been regularly deploying support personnel as a guard duty since mid-2016, although it has recently attempted to curtail the practice. The Times noted last year that there were 275 violent episodes in prison, including inmates' struggles and major attacks on staff, an increase of nearly 15 percent over 2016.
Mr. Bulger was apparently at least the third inmate who died this year as a result of violence in Hazelton Prison. In April, one inmate was killed in a fight; Just last month, another inmate died in the same way, local news media reported.
Senator Joe Manchin III. West Virginia recently teamed up with other officials when he sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing concern about staffing levels in federal prisons. including Hazelton.