Transferring Female Inmates To Rural Alabama Still A Bad Idea

The Hartford Courant

The Federal Bureau of Prisons still intends to resume its misguided transfer of 1,120 female inmates from its women's prison in Danbury to a new facility in the Alabama hinterlands and other locations.

The bureau suspended the transfers recently to answer questions from U.S. senators, including Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. A meeting is expected soon between the senators and Department of Justice officials.

Nevertheless, the bureau is expected to go ahead and turn Danbury into a prison for male inmates to lessen crowding in other men's prisons.

The bureau can lessen crowding without transferring female inmates from Danbury. It should permanently cancel the relocation.

The new prison is in tiny Aliceville, Ala. It has no public transportation. The town is 45 miles from Tuscaloosa's bus and train service and 110 miles from the Birmingham airport.

Its remote location hinders family visits, which are important in the rehabilitation of prisoners and to the healthy development of children. Hundreds of children will be affected.

If the transfer goes through, there will no longer be a federal prison for women in the Northeast. There are, however, 25 federal correction facilities for men in the region.

About 15 years ago, Connecticut sent hundreds of state prison inmates to a prison in rural Virginia. That was a disaster. It doesn't auger well for this federal experiment.

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