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    Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    Connecticut to close a third prison within 2 years; move will save $6.5M, Lamont says

    The Connecticut Department of Correction will close the Willard Correctional Institution in Enfield by April 1, according to Gov. Ned Lamont

    Lamont said in a statement on the closure that the decision to shutter the facility is ”attributed to the sustained decrease in the state’s correction population over the last decade, as well as a continued commitment to operate government more cost-effectively.”

    Closing Willard will “save taxpayers approximately $6.5 million in annual operating costs and focus correction resources more efficiently on the current population,” the statement said,

    About 70 correctional professionals staff the facility; closing it will not bring layoffs, according to Lamont.

    From 2012 to 2022, the state’s correction population decreased 44%, according to Lamont. “Over approximately the same period, Connecticut’s violent crime rate fell by 43% and its property crime rate dropped 29%. In the most recent year of available data, Connecticut’s violent crime rate was less than half the U.S. rate,” the statement said.

    The Radgowski Correctional Center was closed in October 2021, and Northern Correctional Institution was closed in June 2021.

    “Because spending millions annually to operate facilities for a population that is significantly smaller than just a few years ago is not a good use of taxpayer money, Connecticut is continuing to right-size its correction system to concentrate resources more effectively,” Lamont said. “I applaud Commissioner Quiros, along with all of the correctional professionals at the Department of Correction, for their tireless efforts to keep the facilities secure and our communities safe.”

    Other information about the facility:

    Willard opened in 1990 as a level 2 facility for sentenced male offenders.There are about 260 individuals at the facility.In coming weeks, its remaining population will be transferred to other facilitiesSafety and security will remain the primary consideration of the Department of Correction when deciding where the population will be moved

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