Accomplishments in 1995

January 27, 1995

John J. Armstrong, who in 18 years with the department has progressed from correction officer to deputy commissioner, was appointed commissioner of correction by Gov. John G. Rowland.

February 6, 1995

Commissioner John J. Armstrong outlined his back-to-basics philosophy for the department: protecting the public, protecting staff, and maintaining secure and safe correctional environments, with prisons and jails reaffirmed as a means to punish and deter criminal behavior, with programs measured against public protection objectives, and with justice for the victim a paramount concern.

February 11, 1995

The agency reorganized to reap the benefits of efficiencies of scale, and to eliminate a layer of management, flatten the chain of command, return control to the line, and involve staff in decision-making.

March 3, 1995

The agency opened the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, marking the end of the state's eight-year, 9,200-cell, $1-billion construction program. Northern, Connecticut's 300-cell maximum-security facility, confines those who are chronic management problems or who have been sentenced to death.

April 1, 1995

The department relocated its driving-under-the-influence program to the Webster Correctional Institution in Cheshire.

July 1, 1995

The agency returned $35.9 million to the general fund from its legislative appropriation for fiscal 1994-95 despite a more than 5-percent increase in the incarcerated population, from 14,125 to 14,889.

Facility escapes this year plunged 60 percent.  Offender-on-staff assaults declined 43 percent; and offender-on-offender assaults fell 24 percent.

July 26, 1995

Hundreds of staff participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of the Connecticut Special Olympics, and worked as volunteers for the 1995 Special Olympics World Games at venues in New Haven, New London and Old Lyme. Also, the sign shop at the Cheshire Correctional Institution produced 3,500 signs for the games.

September 1, 1995

The agency sponsored the first training conference of the National Major Gang Task Force in Hartford.

September 20, 1995

Transportation units inaugurated the daily transfer of court-bound offenders temporarily from prisons to jails, saving the time and resources associated with processing offender records and property.

October 10, 1995

The agency issued an administrative directive prohibiting anyone with a felony conviction from employment in corrections, and restricting consideration for a candidate with a misdemeanor conviction that would impair or disable the candidate's ability to perform a job.

October 18, 1995

Staff launched a drive to raise funds for the Department of Correction Memorial to be erected at the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development in Cheshire to honor employees who have died in the line of duty.

November 14, 1995

The department opened a close-monitoring unit at the Corrigan Correctional Institution in Uncasville to manage gang members. Close-monitoring units later were established at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers and the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown.

December 1, 1995

A ward for offenders needing surgery or inpatient care was established at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, reducing transportation and health care costs, while enhancing security.