More than two decades after New Hampshire was ordered by a judge to provide incarcerated women with conditions and a facility “on parity” with male prisoners, plans are finally under way to build a new state prison for women, reports the Portsmouth Herald. The state has designated $38 million in the new budget for the prison. Women prisoners are currently housed in a Goffstown facility that was leased by the state on a “temporary basis” 23 years ago.
The state pays $250,000 a year to the lease the building where the roof leaks, inmate showers don’t ventilate, floors are cracked, pipes leak, and medical records are kept on paper and stored in an unsecured bookcase. According to a class action suit filed against the state, the female inmates’ constitutional rights are violated daily because women prisoners in New Hampshire don’t receive the same treatment, services, pay and housing as the state’s male prisoners.