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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Nun Behind Bars in Brooklyn

By: Helen Young Documentary filmmaker and Emmy award winning producer You could call it a homecoming of sorts, but without the welcome home party. After growing up in the shadow of Columbia University in Manhattan's Morningside Heights, serving the Catholic Church as a biology teacher in Africa for more than 40 years, and a peace activist in Nevada, 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice has landed back in New York City. She's at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn. It's Sunset Park, but without the grass and trees. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Sister Megan in all probability would have served her 35-month prison sentence at Connecticut 's Danbury Federal Prison. But female inmates are no longer being housed in that institution. So, Danbury's loss is Brooklyn's gain. Sister Megan is one of 78 low security female inmates known as "cadres". They're not awaiting trial or transfer. They've been convicted and, it appears, will serve their sentences at MDC. Although the prison system classifies this kindly, grandmotherly nun as "low security", prosecutors described her as a danger to the community during her recent Knoxville trial, and won a conviction for sabotage, which the law defines as a "federal crime of terrorism". Read more

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