Taconic Correctional Facility

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Taconic Correctional Facility
Location250 Harris Road
Bedford Hills, New York
Statusopen
Security classmedium
Capacity387[1]
Population167[1]
Opened1973
Managed byNew York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
DirectorEmily Williams

Taconic Correctional Facility is a medium/minimum security women's prison in Bedford, New York[1][2] operated by the New York State DOCCS.[3][4] Although the prison has a maximum 387-person capacity, the incarcerated population was under 170 as of November, 2021.[1]

Location[edit]

Taconic is located in Westchester County, approximately fifty miles north of New York City. It lies across the street from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a New York State maximum security women's prison.[5] Despite having a Bedford Hills postal address, the prison lies just outside of the Bedford Hills census-designated place.[6] Compared to most New York State prisons, Taconic and Bedford Hills are relatively accessible by public transportation: Metro North Railroad's Harlem line has station stops about 1.5 miles away, and the Westchester County bus system serves the area.

Incarcerated population[edit]

Taconic is a designated women's prison with about 170 people incarcerated in 2021, ranging from 20 to 74 years old.[1] Despite the designation as a women's prison, there are also nonbinary and transgender men incarcerated there.[1] The population of 170 represents a steep decline from 2019, when there were almost twice as many as the present number, at a count of 315.[7] As of 2021, there were more staff at Taconic than people incarcerated New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, with at least 218 staff members in 2021.[1] This is highly unusual nationwide; New York State's ratio of prison guards to incarcerated people was lowest among all fifty states in 2010.[8]

History[edit]

The facility opened in 1901 as the New York State Reformatory for Women for those ages 15 to 30. Its first director was Katherine Bement Davis, a progressive politician, prison reformer, and the first woman to earn a PhD in Economics/Political Science at the University of Chicago.[9]

The Department of Corrections took over the administration of the reformatory in 1926, and in 1933 it was merged it with the newly opened Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. For the next four decades, the reformatory operated as part of Bedford Hills, still the state's only maximum-security prison for females.

In 1973, Taconic began operations as an autonomous medium-security prison. During 1971 and 1972, Bedford Hills was a correctional facility with separate male and female units. In 1973 the male inmates were transferred before the unit closed in June; the unit reopened in December as the Taconic Correctional Facility.[10]

A cemetery on the prison's grounds has been in use since the 1920s, with about 100 graves, most of them infants and women who died at the facility. The graveyard has marked areas for Christian, Jewish and Muslim decedents. The most recent burials, in the 2010s, were for men who died while incarcerated at prisons where the graveyards had no more space for burials.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g PREA Facility Audit Report (Report). New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. 11 Nov 2021.
  2. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Bedford town, NY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 1. Retrieved 2022-08-22. Taconic Correctional Facility
  3. ^ "Ny Doc Taconic Correctional Facility Bedford Hills NY | from GlobalTel". www.globaltel.com. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. ^ McKinley, Jesse (31 August 2018). "The Prison Escape That Riveted the Nation: 5 Things We Learned From an Inquiry Into How It Happened". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2018. ...inspections of two prisons — Taconic Correctional Facility, a medium-security women's prison in Bedford Hills...
  5. ^ "Report on Conditions of Confinement at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility" (.pdf). correctionalassociation.org. Women in Prison Project, Correctional Association of New York. August 2007. p. 11 (13 .pdf). Retrieved 22 December 2018. ... women incarcerated at Taconic Correctional Facility are permitted to participate in the Family Reunion Program and use the trailers at Bedford Hills, which is located across the road from Taconic.
  6. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Bedford Hills CDP, NY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2022-08-22. Taconic Corr Facility
  7. ^ "Under Custody Report 2019". NYS DOCCS.
  8. ^ "ASCA Responses: Staff to Inmate Ratio Survey (June 2010)" (PDF). Prison Legal News. June 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  9. ^ Sample, Jason (7 Oct 2011). "Katherine Bement Davis - Bicentennial Biography 195". Retrieved 6 Mar 2022.
  10. ^ "Taconic Correctional Facility: NYCHS Excerpts of DOCS | Today Facility Profile". www.correctionhistory.org. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  11. ^ Savayan, Tania (30 Oct 2017). ""The Prison Cemetery at Taconic Correctional Facility"". lohud. Retrieved 6 Mar 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°14′N 73°41′W / 41.24°N 73.68°W / 41.24; -73.68