Rhode Island judge Mary Lisi is one of a dozen federal jurists asking the Justice Department to re-think its closure of a women’s prison in Danbury, Connecticut.  The judges are concerned about families having to travel long distances to see women inmates.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is transitioning its female prison in Danbury, Connecticut to an all-male facility. It’s the only federal women’s prison in the Northeast. It will forcing judges to sentence women inmates to prisons in Philadelphia, West Virginia or Alabama.

Natalie Jablonski / RIPR

Denise Dallaire served ten years in prison before being abruptly freed a few months ago by the same judge who sentenced her.

She was convicted in 2003 on a minor drug dealing charge, but because of mandatory sentencing laws in effect at that time, she received a 15 year sentence.  When her sentence was reversed, the judge apologized to her.

Ms. Dallaire sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

More from Elisabeth Harrison's interview with Denise Dallaire.

The Silver Boom: Aging Behind Bars in RI

Mar 14, 2013
Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston RI
Flo Jonic / RIPR

In less than 20 years a quarter of the state's population will be older than 60. In a series we call "The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island," we're looking at how the state will take care of this expanding older population .. and how it can benefit from it.  In this installment, we travel to Cranston to look  at the state’s aging prison population.

Rhode Island's prison population is aging. Should we release old and frail prisoners? Should we keep them in special nursing homes for prisoners? Let us know what you think and why in the comments section below.

Data from: The Rhode Island Department of Corrections, The National Institutes of Health, and the Journal of Correctional Health Care