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'The Hole' at Valley Street jail cost taxpayers thousands
Unofficially, it's called "The Hole," and it was a factor in lawsuits brought by four Valley Street Jail inmates who claimed they were sent there in 2002 after being unfairly accused of threatening a corrections officer.
• Inmates were allowed only a sheet, mattress, pillow and prison uniform. Other items were forbidden, such as legal papers, reading material, writing instruments and personal hygiene articles.
• Meals provided to inmate Palacio "Big Mex" Paladin were half-sized; he lost 100 pounds in his time in The Hole.
Superintendent David Dionne said conditions are now different in the segregated housing unit.
During a tour of the jail this summer, a reporter spoke to Luis Aviles Rivera, a 19-year-old inmate in his 12th day of a 15-day stint in cell block 2B. Rivera said he was sent to The Hole for smacking an inmate.
"They treat everybody good," Rivera said, "they show you respect."
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