State to close Enfield prison amid decline in crime rate


As a result of the decline in the state’s crime rate, Gov. Dannel Malloy said the prison in Enfield will close next year.

On Tuesday, Malloy said the Enfield Correctional Institution will close in early 2018, due to the “continuing decline in the state’s crime rate and the resulting drop in the prison population,” Malloy said.

The prison currently holds about 700 offenders, who will all be transferred to other facilities.

The closure, Malloy said, will save the state about $6.5 million in annual operating costs.

“As crime in Connecticut has dropped to its lowest level in two generations, new prison admissions have declined 38 percent over the last ten years, and the prison population has reached its lowest level in 23 years, we’ve been able to create efficiencies by closing outdated facilities and reallocating these resources toward efforts that will further enhance public safety initiatives and keep our neighborhoods even safer,” Governor Malloy said. “Across the nation, elected leaders from both sides of the aisle are recognizing that these kinds of reforms are working, and Connecticut is leading these efforts. Violent, high-risk inmates are serving more of their original sentences than ever before. We are making real progress and in the process, improving lives and bettering our communities.”

There are currently 14,103 inmates incarcerated within Connecticut’s state prison system, officials said, adding that it’s 836 fewer than on this date last year.

The state’s prison population reached an all-time high of 19,894 inmates in 2008.

“When you couple the forecast on population counts with the fiscal challenges facing the state of Connecticut, this closure is a responsible and appropriate decision,” Department of Corrections Commissioner Scott Semple said. “As we navigate through this process, the safety and security of all our institutions will remain a top priority – one which will not be compromised.”

Officials said the closure of the facility comes on the heels of several other closures throughout the state prison system in recent years, including: The Radgowski Annex Building at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville in April 2017 at savings of $3 million per year. Four housing units within the Osborn Correctional Institution known as the “Q’s” in October 2016 at a savings of $2.2 million per year. The Niantic Annex of the York Correctional Institution in January 2016 at a savings of $7.6 million per year. The Fairmont building at the Bridgeport Correctional Center in July 2015 at a savings of $2.1 million per year. The Bergin Correctional Institution in Storrs in August 2011 at a savings of $12 million per year. The Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic in June 2011 at a savings of $12.3 million per year. The Webster Correctional Institution in Cheshire in January 2010 at a savings of $3.4 million per year.The prison is a medium security facility located on Shaker Road in Enfield, and opened in 1962 as a low-level, pre-release facility.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.