Transfer of Female Danbury Prisoners Halted

Aug 14, 2013

The Bureau of Prisons has suspended the transfer of more than 1,100 female inmates from the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut to Alabama. Their decision comes after a letter to the bureau, co-signed by 11 Northeast senators, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  In a statement, Murphy said the transfer would "nearly eliminate federal prison beds for women in the Northeast" while using the facility for male inmates. Some 200 female prisoners would remain in a prison camp at the Danbury facility.  The senators' concerns include the long distance families would have to travel to visit the inmates, an issue raised in today's New York Times by Piper Kerman, author of the memoir "Orange is the New Black," which is the basis for the hit series on Netflix.  The Alabama prison is a new facility, built in rural Aliceville, far from any population center, and was once home to a German POW camp. The new prison was built at the urging of Republican Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, who has promoted the $250 million project as an economic boost for the region.   Listen to a conversation about the planned transfer of inmates on WNPR's Where We Live.