Death At Bridgewater

Inside Bridgewater State Hospital (Jason Baker/Flickr)

Inside Bridgewater State Hospital (Jason Baker/Flickr)

Joshua Messier died in a medium security prison, even though he had not been convicted of a crime. The 23-year-old had schizophrenia, and was prone to violence, so authorities sent him for psychiatric evaluation to Bridgewater State Hospital, which is more prison than medical facility.

In May 2009, following a violent episode, guards shackled Joshua’s legs and hands, bent him over and pushed down hard on his back as they strapped him to a bed. Messier stopped breathing and died. A medical examiner initially ruled that Messier was a victim of homicide. But nearly five years later, no one has been prosecuted or even punished.


Michael Rezendes, reporter for the Boston Globe. He wrote the article, “A Death In Restraints After ‘Standard Procedure‘.”

Lisa Brown, mother of 23-year-old Joshua Messier, who died while being subdued during a schizophrenic episode at Bridgewater State Prison.



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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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