There have been several other inmate suicides at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, several attacks on prison staff and several instances of inmate-on-inmate violence. The most famous one was the strangulation of convicted pedophile priest John Geoghan by another prisoner.
The prison, built for $105 million, was hailed as the nation's most technologically advanced when it opened in 1998. It has more than 1,000 cells.
It is named for two former prisons workers killed in 1972 during an aborted escape attempt.
Hernandez was found by guards hanged with a bedsheet at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. The former NFL star was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later.