A group of inmates at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center — a maximum security prison in Shirley — filed a lawsuit against the facility last week, alleging guards there engaged in an illegal and disproportionate crackdown in response to a January assault on a correctional officer. The plaintiffs said they were not involved in the January guard attack and have accused the correctional officers of violent assault and denying them access to their lawyers.

The Department of Corrections responded in a court filing, saying officers took crowd control measures that were necessary, but they did not respond specifically to prisoners’ allegations of physical assault. The lawsuit came amidst growing tensions in the facility, which have also had other, seemingly unrelated attacks in recent weeks — one by an inmate on a different guard and another by an inmate on a fellow inmate.

In for Jim Braude, Adam Reilly spoke Elizabeth Matos, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services Thursday on Greater Boston.