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12/20/2017

Gov. Malloy Announces Housing Unit at Manson Youth Institution to Close as a Result of Juvenile Justice Reforms and Declining Crime Rate

Unit Closure Will Save Taxpayers More Than $600,000 Per Year

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that as a result of the state’s recently enacted juvenile justice reforms and the continuing decline in the crime rate and prison population, the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) will be closing one of the ten housing units at the Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire. The unit closure will save the state more than $600,000 in annual operating costs.

“Juvenile justice reform is about recognizing that our young people need a system based on help and support instead of one based on isolation and permanent punishment,” Governor Malloy said. “In Connecticut, we’ve taken a reform-focused and data-driven approach that has brought our prison population to its lowest point in 23 years, while bringing our crime rate down to a remarkable 50-year low. In this same time span, we’ve reduced juvenile arrests by more than 5,000, allowing us to offer our young people classrooms instead of prison cells and opportunity instead of incarceration.”

“It is incredibly gratifying to see tangible evidence of our efforts to reducing the number of incarcerated youths in our state,” DOC Commissioner Scott Semple said. “With the help of Governor Malloy and the legislature’s Second Chance initiatives, we are helping to keep more young people out of prison and in school where they belong – giving them the best chance at becoming productive citizens. At the risk of oversimplifying the issue, what better way to make sure someone does not reoffend, than by keeping them out of the criminal justice system in the first place?”

Connecticut has seen a steady decline in the number of adult inmates under the age of 22 as a result of the recently enacted Raise the Age reforms. Since 2009, the number of inmates in DOC custody between the ages of 18 and 21 has dropped by 62 percent.

Age of Incarcerated Individuals

Age of Incarcerated Individuals

The Manson Youth Institution, which is currently housing 490 inmates, is a level four, high-security facility that houses both sentenced and un-sentenced male young adults under the age of 22, including approximately fifty 15 to 17-year-olds who have been transferred from juvenile to adult court. The younger inmates are housed separately from the young adult population pursuant to federal regulations and in order to employ management strategies geared directly toward the special needs of this age cohort. At its peak, the facility once held more than 700 inmates.

Offenders at the facility are housed in 10 separate buildings, each with 3 wings that contain 12 cells, a day room, counselor offices and a mini-kitchen. Each unit houses up to 72 youthful offenders. With today’s announcement, the number of housing units is reduced to nine.

The closure of the unit comes on the heels of several other facility closures throughout the state prison system in recent years, including:

  • The upcoming closure of the Enfield Corrections Institution at a savings of $6.5 million per year.
  • 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.
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