On behalf of all prisoners in the custody of the Department of Correction, I want to thank The Boston Globe for its in-depth coverage of the tragic and questionable death of Joshua Messier at Bridgewater State Hospital.

As Michael Rezendes’s reporting so aptly illustrated, the department continues to operate in secrecy and autonomy. The circumstances behind Messier’s death are just one example of how the Massachusetts correctional system operates.

The public and the Legislature should not take this reporting by the Globe lightly. Because of the tax dollars allocated to the state Department of Correction, lawmakers and the citizenry of the Commonwealth must have a say in how that money is being spent. One way for the public to get involved is to push for an oversight committee to the Department of Correction. Numerous legislators as well as a blue-ribbon commission led by Scott Harshbarger, former state attorney general, have been calling for an oversight committee for years, to no avail.


How many more questionable deaths will it take for this committee to finally come into effect? The Globe can only do so much. Now it is up to the Legislature to do its part, finally.

John F. Currie

The writer is a prisoner at MCI-Norfolk.