Women in Prison:

Transition of District of Columbia Female Felons to the Federal Bureau of Prisons

GGD-99-144R: Published: Jul 21, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the transition of female felony offenders from the District of Columbia (D.C.) Department of Corrections to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), focusing on the: (1) status of the transition; and (2) types of parenting, educational, and job-training programs BOP offers to D.C. female offenders in BOP facilities.

GAO noted that: (1) as of June 1999, 218 D.C. female felony offenders were in BOP's custody, of which 143 had been designated to the BOP prison in Danbury, Connecticut--approximately 300 miles from Washington, D.C.; (2) according to BOP officials, to help address distance-from-home and related parenting and family issues, parenting programs are offered at all BOP facilities; (3) BOP also offers female and male inmates a variety of educational and job-training programs; (4) for example, BOP's Danbury facility offers a course on long-distance parenting, a high school credential program, and 12 job-training programs that can lead to certification or accreditation; (5) in the future, BOP plans to house all D.C. female felony offenders, including those already housed in BOP facilities, in a private correctional facility to be built in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania--approximately 210 miles from Washington, D.C.; (6) according to BOP officials, the contractor will be required to provide parenting, educational, job-training, and other programs and services that address female-specific needs; (7) at the time of this review, the contractor was developing specific information on its proposed policies, programs, and services; and (8) the private facility is scheduled to open in 2000.

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