“Reminiscent of a vengeful plot from The Godfather, South Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was murdered last month shortly after being transferred to U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton. While Bulger is far from the typical prisoner, his death at the hands of other inmates is a particularly gruesome example of a widespread problem in American prisons.

Nicknamed “Misery Mountain” by inmates, Hazelton had a reputation of violence long before Bulger was transferred there. The prison has too few correctional officers and too many prisoners, which has drawn complaints from both inmates and union officials representing those who work in the facility. This under-staffing and overcrowding has contributed significantly to Hazelton’s dangerous climate. In fact, members of Congress have written to the Justice Department to express their concerns over the frequency of violence and deaths that occur there.”

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