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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Nancy Gertner and Judith Resnik

Keep female prisoners close to family

Just as Attorney General Eric Holder was rightly decrying the impact of onerous drug sentences for low-level, nonviolent offenders this summer, the federal Bureau of Prisons began to implement plans that would dramatically increase the burdens of imprisonment on women inmates. The sole federal prison for women in the Northeast — a facility for 1,100 in Danbury, Conn. — is scheduled to be converted into an institution for men, and many of the female prisoners will be transferred to rural Alabama, making family visits virtually impossible.

Only 200 beds for women will remain in Danbury, attached in a lower-security camp — far too few to hold the roughly 900 women from the Northeast who receive federal prison sentences each year.

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