Federal prisons threaten to displace female inmates far from families

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 7:40 a.m. MDT

A federal women’s prison in Connecticut is scheduled to transition into a mostly male facility at the end of the year. If the change occurs, hundreds of female inmates would move to Alabama — much too far for most family visits.

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An impending alteration to the federal prisons system should be curtailed so that hundreds of female inmates can continue receiving family visits, according to an op-ed piece penned by law professors from Harvard and Yale in Tuesday’s Boston Globe.

“The sole federal prison for women in the Northeast — a facility for 1,100 in Danbury, Conn. — is scheduled to be converted into an institution for men, and many of the female prisoners will be transferred to rural Alabama, making family visits virtually impossible,” Nancy Gertner and Judith Resnik wrote for the Globe.

They continued, “The (prison) bureau’s plan to move women prisoners thousands of miles from their homes flies in the face of a new prison-reform initiative by (Attorney General Eric) Holder and the White House, which stresses the importance of keeping inmates in touch with their families. … What’s needed is a permanent halt to the transfers of women from Danbury, and public hearings (about) ways to provide greater access to families.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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