Rhode Island Judge Voices Concern Over Closure of Local Women's Prison

Dec 11, 2013

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.

A coalition of federal judges, including Rhode Island’s Mary Lisi, has written Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to reconsider the plan. They worry that the women will be unable to maintain relations with their families.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, 59 percent of the women at the Danbury prison have minor children.  The concerned judges say maintaining family ties is important to keep women from re-offending.

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