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The making of MCI-Norfolk: Highlights from the prison’s past


The state deploys prison inmates to begin construction of a new facility in Norfolk.

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The Norfolk State Prison Colony gains recognition as the country’s first “community-based” prison. Inmates can study such subjects as debating, gardening, music, and ­drama.


Norfolk inmates volunteer to be human guinea pigs in medical experiments for the World War II effort.


Norfolk inmates buy enough war bonds to have an Army bomber named for Arthur St. Germain, a 27-year-old prisoner from Haverhill who died after being injected with an experimental ­serum.


The US Navy commends Norfolk inmates for participating in the wartime experiments.


Malcolm Little, the future Malcolm X, is transferred to Norfolk.


Norfolk’s debate team beats Harvard — for the sixth time.


The facility is renamed the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Norfolk.

SOURCES: Massachusetts Department of Correction; Boston Globe archives; Harvard Crimson archives; “They Did Their Share, 1942-1945: A Report by the War Effort Committee, State Prison Colony — Norfolk, Massachusetts”
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