Prove it, innate, survival of the fittest, organic… scientific terminology is part of our everyday language, but are we using the terms correctly? Today we’re testing the theory of misusing scientific terms. And, with the state breaking ground on a new women’s prison next month, we’ll consider whether the specific needs of female inmates can be addressed by re-thinking prison design. Then, mental illness creates a stigma that is almost impossible to erase, even for sports celebrities. We wonder: why isn’t Delonte West in the NBA?
Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.
Increasingly, corrections officials are looking to statistics to inform their decisions around all aspects of prison practices. As NHPR's Emily Corwin recently reported, inmates’ gender and trauma statistics are helping inform the design of the state’s new women's prison in Concord.
While you’re binging on new episodes of Orange is The New Black this week, here in New Hampshire, architects are working with the Department of Corrections to design a real $38 million state prison for women.
And unlike most women’s prisons around the country, this 224-bed prison is being designed for the particular needs of women inmates. To find out more about what New Hampshire's new prison may be like, NHPR visited a women's prison designed by the same architect, and with the same principles -- in Windham, Maine.
We're sitting down with Corrections Commissioner, William Wrenn. We'll talk about the national trend toward prison reform, as well as the issues in front of his department, including plans for the new women's prison, and the state of New Hampshire's halfway house system.
William Wrenn - New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner
As of Tuesday, $245 million dollars in capital projects are on the way in New Hampshire, now that Governor Maggie Hassan signed the capital budget into law. The biggest line item in that budget is a $38 million dollar new women’s prison.
The prison will be located next to the mens’ prison, in Concord. Jeff Lyons with the Department of Corrections says that’s for certain. But what the prison will look like, and who will build it? That, Lyons says, is yet to be decided:
Hear the phrase “Girl Scout meeting”, and you may think merit badges, social service projects – cookies, perhaps? Well, for a few girls in the Granite State, a scout meeting is one of the few times they get to see their incarcerated mothers. NHPR correspondent Melanie Plenda reported from Goffstown Womens’ Prison on the program, called Girl Scouts Beyond Bars.