Mass Incarceration

Enfield correctional facility slated for closure, state officials say

ENFIELD — One of many state’s 20 correctional institutions will shut down this spring because the jail inhabitants continues to drop.

The Willard Correctional Establishment at 391 Shaker Street in Enfield is scheduled to shut its doorways by April 1, in line with a press release launched by the Workplace of Gov. Ned Lamont Tuesday afternoon. Lamont attributed the choice to a big decline in inmate numbers and a ensuing have to downsize.

“As a result of spending hundreds of thousands yearly to function amenities for a inhabitants that’s considerably smaller than just some years in the past just isn’t a very good use of taxpayer cash, Connecticut is constant to right-size its correction system to pay attention assets extra successfully,” Lamont stated within the assertion.

Eliminating Willard is anticipated to save lots of taxpayers roughly $6.5 million in annual working prices, in line with the assertion.

The transfer was hailed by criminal justice reform advocates as “the precise factor to do.” Lorenzo Jones, co-executive director of the Katal Middle for Fairness, Well being, and Justice, stated that it was “a testomony to a long time of organizing in Connecticut to finish mass incarceration.” However, he added, closing Willard wasn’t sufficient.

“Lamont must take the required subsequent steps right here,” Jones stated. “First, the financial savings from this jail closure should be invested within the Black, Brown and low-income communities most harmed by criminalization and mass incarceration in our state.”

Second, Jones stated, “Lamont ought to lower the scale of the Dept(.) of Corrections and shutter extra prisons.”

Between 2012 and 2022, the variety of folks incarcerated in Connecticut decreased by 44%, in line with the assertion. In that point, the violent crime fee and the property crime fee decreased by 43% and 29%, respectively, the assertion stated.

A number of different state correctional amenities have preceded Willard in closing, together with the Radgowski Correctional Middle in October 2021 and the Northern Correctional Establishment in June 2021, in line with the assertion. Willard at the moment homes roughly 260 male offenders and employs roughly 71 workers members, the assertion stated.

Offenders will probably be transferred to different state correctional establishments within the coming weeks, in line with the assertion. Staff will probably be redeployed to different space correctional establishments within the coming months, the assertion stated.

“There may be quite a lot of work that goes into closing a correctional facility,” Angel Quiros, commissioner of the state Division of Correction, stated within the assertion. “From the workers to the incarcerated inhabitants, there are quite a lot of transferring components. Because of the professionalism of our workers, I’ve little question that the job will get carried out in a methodical and seamless method, simply as we did with the Radgowski and Northern amenities.”

Willard opened in 1990 and was named in honor of nineteenth century Connecticut jail warden William Willard, in line with the state Division of Correction.


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