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Violence plagued West Virginia prison before Bulger’s murder

November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before notorious Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a West Virginia federal prison, lawmakers and even prison guards were sounding the alarm about dangerous conditions at the facility.

Bulger is the third inmate killed in the last six months at USP Hazelton. Yet, there’s been no public indication federal prison officials have taken action to address the safety concerns.

Court records, oversight reports and news articles detail numerous violent incidents in the last few years.

Union officials have raised concerns about dozens of vacant positions at the prison. They’ve also decried a practice known as augmentation, which taps health care workers, teachers and secretaries to fill correction officer positions.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not respond to questions about the safety concerns at USP Hazelton.