Advocates of Prison Reform Aim to Overhaul State’s Solitary Confinement

The closure of Northern Correctional Facility in Somers, which Gov. Ned Lamont officially announced earlier this month, is a victory for prison reform activists that has taken years.  But for human rights lawyer Hope Metcalf and State Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, it’s only the beginning.  As executive director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale University, Metcalf has been working with a team of lawyers to represent the nonprofit Disability Rights Connecticut in a lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Correction alleging the “the persistent and deliberate abuse of people with mental illness

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As 378 of 400 Test Positive For COVID-19, Workplace Safety Fails Corrections Workers Across Connecticut

Each week Corrections Officer Brian Withington at York Correctional Institution is given one surgical mask. He is expected to wear the disposal mask through back-to-back 16-hour shifts in a facility with hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases. “We are expected to wear a surgical mask for 80 hours a week and they’re not even effective at protecting us,” Withington said. “Out of all the state agencies, the Department of Corrections is the one that has the most issues, the most cases, and yet we don’t have enough PPE.” As of May 26, 792 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 across the

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Old Saybrook Police Commission Votes for 3.8% Budget Increase

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OLD SAYBROOK — The Police Commission voted on Monday to approve the chief of police’s recommendation of a $5,238,272 fiscal year 2020-21 operating budget for the Department of Police Services, a 3.8 percent increase over the previous year. For fiscal year 2019-20, the $5,046,205 police budget accounted for about 10.8 percent of Old Saybrook’s overall budget of $46,520,189, the most for any department in Old Saybrook’s municipal budget, excluding school spending. Police Chief Michael A. Spera said this year’s increase is driven by the contractual obligations of salaries, benefits, insurance, and other staffing costs. “The message that I have this

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Treatment Prevention Pathways Offers Alternatives for Addicts in Criminal Justice System

It costs the state of Connecticut approximately $179 per day to hold an individual with drug addiction in prison, according to the Court Support Services Division of the state’s Judicial Branch. That’s more than double the average cost for all other incarcerated individuals in the state, according to the State Department of Corrections. “For the opioid population, honestly 100 percent of people arrested were typically held until the disposition of their case. Then all these people took short sentences,” said CSSD’s Assistant Director of Adult Probation and Bail Services, Mike Hines. “Part of their addiction is the Department of Corrections.”

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