DANBURY, Conn. – Even as the government shutdown halted the transfer of female inmates from Danbury’s Federal Correctional Institution to other prisons around the country, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy continue to speak out against plans to relocate the prisoners.
“I remain strongly opposed to this wrongheaded decision, which ensures that incarcerated women will be farther away from their families,” a statement issued by Blumenthal on Tuesday said. “This shortsighted move will cause severe hardship, harm and pain for the young children of these women, and will hinder and restrict the family bonds and relationships we know are critical to rehabilitation.”
He added that he thinks “this misguided policy” to relocate the female inmates would cause more crime and more criminals by damaging mothers and their children.
Blumenthal and Murphy said they have secured a meeting within the coming weeks to discuss this matter with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Converting the facility from a women’s prison to a men’s prison means that there will no longer be any federal prison beds for women in the region,” Murphy said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. “Moving these inmates may reduce or eliminate contact between female inmates and their families, dramatically disrupting their lives and ability to successfully reintegrate into society once released from prison.”
Plans to convert the prison to a low security male facility were supposed to begin in August, beginning with the transfer of Danbury's female inmates to other institutions. The process was expected to be completed by December, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, but the senators said no prisoners have been moved yet.
The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury is the only female federal prison in the Northeast.