Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women

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Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum security prison for women in the State of New York.

Address: 247 Harris Rd Bedford Hills, NY 10507

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women is a prison for women in Bedford Hills in the Town of Bedford, Westchester County, New York, USA.[1] Bedford Hills, the only New York State Department of Correctional Services women's maximum security prison,[2] is the largest women's prison in New York state and has hosted many infamous prisoners. The prison previously opened under the name Westfield State Farm in 1901.

Bedford Hills is one of several New York facilities exclusively for women, the others being Albion Correctional Facility, Bayview Correctional Facility, Beacon Correctional Facility, and Taconic Correctional Facility.[3] Its family-centered program, founded by Sister Elaine Roulet, has served as a model for other prison programs in the United States and is considered the standard for innovative family-centered programs.[4]

Mothers of Bedford[edit]

Filmmaker Jenifer McShane produced a documentary film about the mothers in the family center of Bedford Hills. She spent four years doing research at Bedford Hills and following the experiences of the women and their families. The film examines the experiences of five women as they deal with being prisoners and mothers. Eighty percent of women in US prisons today are mothers of school-age children. The Fledgling Fund says of the film, “Mothers of Bedford is a beautiful film. It provides audiences with unprecedented access to this community of women and will move our national conversation about incarceration to a new level.”[5][6]

Notable inmates[edit]

  • Kathy Boudin,[2][7] Convicted in 1984 for her involvement in a Brinks robbery that resulted in the killing of three people, and who became a public health expert while in prison. She was sentenced to life in prison and was released on September 17, 2003, after serving 22 years. After her parole she accepted a job in the H.I.V./AIDS Clinic at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
  • Judy Clark,[7] Convicted in 1983 for her involvement in the same Brinks robbery as Boudin. Was not represented by counsel at trial and is currently serving 3 consecutive life sentences at Bedford Hills. Co-founded the AIDS Counseling and Education (ACE) program at Bedford Hills, which has been emulated in prisons nationwide. Was instrumental in establishing a college program at Bedford Hills that has helped more than 100 prisoners earn college degrees.[8]
  • Amy Fisher,[2] Famously known as "The Long Island Lolita" by the press, convicted of the 1992 shooting of the wife of her lover Joey Buttafuoco, with whom she began an affair as a 16 year-old student. She had served 7 years in prison and was released from prison in 1999. Since her release she has become a writer and a porn star.
  • Jean Harris,[2][7] Made national news in 1980 as the defendant in a high-profile murder case of her ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, the well-known cardiologist and author of the best-selling book The Scarsdale Diet. Eleven years after Harris's conviction,[9] Governor Mario Cuomo commuted the remainder of her sentence on December 29, 1992, as she was being prepped for quadruple bypass heart surgery. She was released from prison by the parole board after serving 11 years and initially planned to live in a cabin in New Hampshire, but later moved to the Whitney Center, a retirement home in Hamden, Connecticut.[10] She died on December 23, 2012, aged 89, at an assisted-living facility in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Barbara Kogan,[2][7] The former socialite made national headlines beginning in October 1990 when her husband George was gunned down on an Upper Eastside Manhattan street in broad daylight. Barbara immediately became a suspect but she was not convicted for nearly two decades after she accepted a plea bargain admitting to conspiring to hire a hit man to kill her husband of 24 years because of a lengthy, acrimonious divorce. A book about the case, The Millionaire's Wife: The True Story of a Real Estate Tycoon, his Beautiful Young Mistress, and a Marriage that Ended in Murder, by true crime author Cathy Scott, was released by St. Martin's Press on March 27, 2012[11][12]
  • Pamela Smart,[2][7] Former media services consultant was found guilty in March 1991 for conspiring with her underage lover, William Flynn, and his three associates to kill her 24-year-old husband, Greggory Smart, in Derry, New Hampshire. She was transferred to Bedford Hills from the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in March 1993 because New Hampshire did not have a secure enough facility to house her, the higher security necessary due to the high-profile nature of her case.[13] Her case drew national attention in the 1990s. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.
  • Stacey Castor,[2][7] Wife who was charged in 2007 with second degree murder, second degree attempted murder, and offering a false instrument in the first degree. She was found guilty of intentionally poisoning then-husband David Castor with antifreeze in 2005 and attempting to murder her daughter, Ashley Wallace, with a toxic cocktail consisting of crushed pills mixed in with vodka, orange juice, and Sprite in 2007. In addition, she was suspected of having murdered her first husband, Michael Wallace, whose grave lies next to David Castor's. After an autopsy was performed on Michael Wallace's body the autopsy showed traces of antifreeze and rat poison that were found in his remains. The medical examiner ruled the death a poisoning homicide. The story made national news, and Castor was subsequently named The Black Widow by media outlets.
  • Carolyn Warmus,[7][14] Former Greenville Elementary School teacher convicted for the murder of Paul Solomon's wife Betty Jean to get closer with him. Carolyn and Paul both worked at Greenville as school teachers and Carolyn frequently visited the Solomon house and became a role model to Paul's daughter Kristan. Her first trial was a mistrial and after Paul Solomon found a cashmere glove covered with blood, it was a new piece of evidence linking her to the murder and Carolyn was found guilty at her second trial. She faced the minimum of 15 years, but Judge Carey sentenced her to the maximum of 25-years-to-life in prison.
  • Nixzaliz Santiago,[7] Convicted of manslaughter in connection with the death of her daughter, Nixzmary Brown, and sentenced to 43 years in prison. Nixzmary's stepfather Cesar Rodriguez tortured (later learned to be bound and her mouth duct-taped, and beaten) Nixzmary, and her mother allegedly ignored this and didn't contact authorities in time to save her daughter's life. Justice Patricia DiMango made these harsh remarks to her: "You may not have delivered the fatal blow, but were it not for your failure to act, Nixzmary Brown would probably not have died from that blow," and "By your own statements, she gasped for air - moaning - and called for you twice until she died. You, Mrs. Santiago, ignored the desperate calls and left this little 7-year-old alone and you did nothing" and finally "You had a duty to act. You were the mother." See Murder of Nixzmary Brown.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bedford town, Westchester County, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 2, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Silver, Kate. "How Mya Saved Jacob." Spirit Magazine. Retrieved on January 15, 2011.
  3. ^ New York State Department of Corrections Facility Listing. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of American Prisons, by Marilyn D. McShane, Franklin P. Williams
  5. ^ "Mothers of Bedford" Documentary To Be Screened Next Week, The Scarsdale Patch
  6. ^ Mothers of Bedford Documentary
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i New York State Department of Corrections Inmate Population Information Search. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Judith Clark’s Radical Transformation, The New York Times, Jan 12, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/magazine/judith-clarks-radical-transformation.html?pagewanted=all
  9. ^ The Jean Harris Case, TruTV Crime Library website, accessed November 24, 2008
  10. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/24/weekinreview/jan-17-23-former-headmistress-freed-jean-harris-69-frail-paroled-for-1980-murder.html?src=pm
  11. ^ DNAInfo.com "Black Widow Barbara Kogan's "Sentencing Delayed So Son Can Finally Face Mom in Court," May 19, 2010
  12. ^ Publisher's book page for The Millionaire's Wife about the Barbara Kogan case
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/12/us/woman-in-plot-to-kill-husband-shifts-prisons.html
  14. ^ Singleton, Don. "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO. . .? THE ART OF DOING TIME" New York Daily News, Sunday, June 18th 1995. Retrieved July 8, 2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°14′19″N 73°40′51″W / 41.23861°N 73.68083°W / 41.23861; -73.68083