Based on data collected from 45 states, the longest-serving female inmate in the United States appears to be Betty Smithey, of Arizona, who is serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder she committed on Jan. 1, 1963.
Smithey is currently housed at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Perryville, in Goodyear, Ariz. She has been incarcerated since July 30, 1963, nearly 49 years – five years and four months longer than the second-longest serving female inmate, Marie Arrington, of Florida. Arrington also is serving a life term for first-degree murder.
Two states, Louisiana and Virginia – did not respond to repeated public information requests by the Republic.
Analysis and visualization: Matt Dempsey
Data: Corrections Departments of each state