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For Immediate Release

July 25, 2008

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

NH Department of Corrections Implements Legal Civil Unions Policy

(Concord, N.H.) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn signed and implemented a departmental policy change that reflects the enactment of RSA 457-A, Civil Unions. The new policy replaces Policy, Procedure and Directive #7.13, Inmate Marriage Policy, to incorporate new forms and tracking paperwork for legal civil unions.

The policy prohibits inmates from marrying or entering civil unions with other offenders under department supervision. It requires that all marriages and civil unions be facilitated through the prison chaplain. In accordance with the policy all inmates and prospective spouses or partners must meet with the chaplain for pre-marital/pre civil union counseling. The warden can approve or deny marriage/legal civil union requests. It is the responsibility of the non-incarcerated spouse or partner to obtain the appropriate licenses from the Boscawen Town Hall.

“We feel our policy fairly reflects the changes implemented by the new law while facilitating requests for marriages and legal civil unions,” Commissioner Wrenn said.

Marriage and legal civil union ceremonies are scheduled twice a year at the convenience of the facility. About a dozen inmates participate in the ceremonies annually.

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