In order to help make communities safer, ensure fairness in the criminal justice system, and provide stability to the state's budget, Governor Maggie Hassan today joined legislators from both parties and officials from the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to break ground on a new state women's prison.
"For far too long, our corrections system has woefully neglected women," Governor Hassan said. "Today's groundbreaking of the new women's prison is a significant step forward for the State of New Hampshire, marking the culmination of a decades-long effort that will help make our communities safer, ensure fairness in our criminal justice system, and provide stability to our state's budget."
Last year, Governor Hassan worked across party lines to pass a bipartisan capital budget that included funding for a new women's prison with facilities and programs that can help individuals safely move back into society when they have served their sentences. Without a suitable facility for female prisoners, the state faced a costly lawsuit that threatened its bond rating.
"By restoring fairness for men and women in our corrections system, we will save the state millions in long-term legal costs from what inevitably would've been a lengthy legal process," Governor Hassan said. "I thank legislators from both parties, our hard-working public servants at the Department of Corrections and the Department of Administrative Services, and our partners in the private sector for making our long-overdue new women's prison a reality."
"This new state-of-the-art prison will have modern facilities to keep dangerous criminals off of our streets, while also helping to reduce recidivism by offering programs to strengthen rehabilitation opportunities and prevent those who serve their sentences from returning to a life of crime," said DOC Commissioner William Wrenn.
SMRT Architects and Engineers designed the new facility and Gilbane Construction will build it. The capital budget included $38 million for the women's prison.