Blog Posts

« Back to blog post list

D.C. Transparency Watch: Stonewall Faces D.C. Researchers Studying Treatment of D.C. Women Prisoners Here and in Faraway Confinement

dcogcadmin | March 29, 2016

“Significant difficulty,”  “obstacles and delays,” no access to talk with women prisoners, and zero response to public records requests from D.C. and federal agencies – these were the experiences reported in new research released Friday (25) by prison reform attorneys who spent months trying to assess conditions facing the 300 District women incarcerated in the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) here and also around the country in facilities of the Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

“It should not be so challenging to obtain information on an issue of broad public interest and concern,” the team wrote, recommending that D.C. Department of Corrections and the Bureau of Prisons leadership as well as contractors “should adopt a more transparent approach to information about the facilities and their operations.”

The study, led by the D.C. Prisoners Rights project at the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, with attorneys from the D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, reviewed conditions for D.C. women in CTF, BOP prisons and a contractor-operated halfway house. Federal officials refused to make key staff available and even to provide basic data such as numbers of women at various facilities. 

The report included six pages of recommendations for changes by D.C. and federal officials, especially including more efforts to keep women closer to D.C. to maintain family ties.

The Prisoners’ Rights Project reported difficulties with access to information from D.C. officials last year on conditions at the D.C. Jail.

A WAMU report today (28) on the study is here.