Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Norfolk

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Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Norfolk
Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Norfolk is located in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Norfolk
Location in Massachusetts
LocationNorfolk, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°07′09″N 71°18′15″W / 42.11917°N 71.30417°W / 42.11917; -71.30417Coordinates: 42°07′09″N 71°18′15″W / 42.11917°N 71.30417°W / 42.11917; -71.30417
Security classMedium
Overcrowding rate: 134 %
Managed byMassachusetts Department of Correction
DirectorSuperintendent Sean Medeiros

Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk, or MCI-Norfolk, is a medium security prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts with an average daily population of 1500 inmates. Though it is rated medium security, it also houses up to 98 maximum security inmates. Opened in the early 1930s, MCI-Norfolk is the largest state prison in Massachusetts.

One of the notable inmates of MCI-Norfolk was Malcolm X, who was also a member of the Norfolk Debating Society while incarcerated.

MCI-Norfolk is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.


MCI-Norfolk was founded in 1927 as the Norfolk Prison Colony, a "model prison community"[1] conceived by sociologist and penologist Howard Belding Gill (Harvard 1913, M.B.A. 1914), who was appointed its first superintendent in 1931.[2]

Gill was dismissed in 1934 after an escape by four inmates, and replaced by his deputy Maurice N. Winslow, who served as superintendent from 1934 to 1950. The name of the prison was changed to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk in the mid-1950s.

During the 1950s, the Norfolk Debating Society, a team consisting of prison inmates, beat a number of university teams including the Oxford Union at Oxford University.

Officer Deaths at Norfolk[edit]

On July 31, 1972, Corrections Officers Alfred Baranowski and James Souza were shot and killed by an inmate using a smuggled firearm during an escape attempt. In the officers' memory, the Department of Corrections named their new supermax prison the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

Prison Address[edit]

2 Clark Street
PO Box 43
Norfolk, MA 02056


  1. ^ Johnsen, Thomas C., "Vita: Howard Belding Gill: Brief Life of a Prison Reformer: 1890-1989", Harvard Magazine, September–October 1999, p. 54.
  2. ^ Conrad, John P., "A Lost Ideal, a New Hope: The Way toward Effective Correctional Treatment", Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), Vol. 72, No. 4 (Winter, 1981), pp. 1699-1734.


  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2012). "MCI-Norfolk". Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  • Diiulio, John J., Governing Prisons: A Comparative Study of Correctional Management, Simon and Schuster, 1990. ISBN 0-02-907883-0
  • Serrill, M. S., "Norfolk - A Retrospective - New Debate Over a Famous Prison Experiment," Corrections Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (August 1982), pp. 25–32.