Willard Correctional in Enfield to close, Gov. Lamont announces

Willard Correctional Institute.
Willard Correctional Institute.(State of Connecticut)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 4:39 PM EST
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ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) – The Willard Correctional Institution in Enfield will close by April 1, Governor Ned Lamont announced Tuesday.

Lamont’s office said the state’s declining correction population and a commitment to operating the government more cost-effectively led to the decision.

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

Connecticut’s correction population dropped 44-percent from 2012 to 2022, Lamont’s office said.

“Over approximately the same period, Connecticut’s violent crime rate fell by 43% and its property crime rate dropped 29%,” said officials.

Lamont’s office also said the most recent year of data shows the violent crime rate in Connecticut was less than half of the violent crime rate for the United States.

“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,” Governor Lamont said.

The facility opened in 1990. There are currently 260 individuals at Willard, officials said.

“Over the coming weeks, its remaining population will be methodically transferred to other appropriate facilities within the state’s correctional system,” said Lamont’s office.

Willard’s staff of about 71 workers will be relocated to other correctional facilities nearby, officials said. They will not be laid off. “This will help to reduce overtime expenses in other facilities and fill vacant positions,” said officials.

“There is a great deal of work that goes into closing a correctional facility. From the staff to the incarcerated population, there are a lot of moving parts. Thanks to the professionalism of our staff, I have no doubt that the job will get done in a methodical and seamless manner, just as we did with the Radgowski and Northern facilities,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros.