N.H. Policymakers Frustrated By Continued Delay of Women's Prison

Aug 23, 2017

New Hampshire policymakers are frustrated by the continued delay in the opening of the women’s prison in Concord. The 224-bed facility was planned to open last fall then was moved to this fall for funding reasons and now has been pushed back to this upcoming spring.

Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Corrections Helen Hanks told the Executive Council in Keene Wednesday that it’s not a construction issue but a staffing shortage, adding that her department is working with an outside agency to help with staff recruitment.

For now, the council approved the money needed to keep the women prisoners at the Goffstown facility in Hillsborough County.

Councilor Chris Pappas urged the department to resolve the issue.

“If it’s any sort of incentive to you to mobilize and make sure you have the crew that you need to run Concord, I think you should assume that we won’t vote for a new contract with Hillsborough County to continue kicking the can down the road," Pappas told Hanks during the meeting.

Gov. Chris Sununu said he’s “frustrated” with the delay and that he'll continue to push the department to make sure the new facility in Concord doesn’t go unused.