Accomplishments in 1998

January 8, 1998

Commissioner John J. Armstrong presented to the Wethersfield Police Department the keys to a reconditioned 1977 Dodge van. Staff in 1997 learned that a school had declared it as surplus. Vocational instructors and their engine and auto body classes subsequently renovated the 15-passenger vehicle.

January 30, 1998

Correctional Enterprises completed the reorganization of its Woodworking Shop at MacDougall Correctional Institution and the remodeling of the Optical Laboratory to include capabilities of producing bifocals, tinting and photo chromatic lenses.

February 10, 1998

The agency launched its web site at, which immediately was named Site of the Week by the Corrections Network, the largest on-line resource for news and information in corrections.

April 2, 1998

The agency established two new job specifications: sergeant and correction officer first class, to create an opportunity for experienced staff to serve both as leaders of line staff and partners in public safety operations.

April 13, 1998

Cutting-edge videoconference technology dulled a violent inmate's threat to the public when the agency conducted the arraignment of an offender in the Merrimack (New Hampshire) Superior Court while the individual remained at the maximum-security Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut.

July 1, 1998

The department returned $12.3 million to the general fund from its legislative appropriation for fiscal 1997-98-the fourth consecutive savings. The agency in the past four years has returned $113.8 million to the general fund.

When comparing calendar 1994 with fiscal 1997-98, escapes had plunged 96 percent, inmate-on-staff assaults had fallen 50 percent, and inmate-on-inmate assaults had dropped 40 percent-despite the 13 percent increase in the inmate population during that span.

July 12, 1998

The agency required all new managers to complete the Supervisory Leadership Program of the Command Institute at Tunxis Community-Technical College in Farmington. This exhaustive program enables managers to refine their skills and become more effective in the criminal justice environment.

September 11, 1998

The National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors named the Connecticut Department of Correction as the nation's "Best Dressed State Agency." Its new basic duty uniform has proven rugged and practical.

October 5, 1998

The Community Enforcement Unit initiated the use of electronic, random tracking technology to monitor offenders who had been conditionally released to the community.

October 9, 1998

Staff obtained a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to develop the three-phase FOCUS (Families, Officer and Correction Understanding Stress) Plan-the first of its type in the nation, which focused on training in stress management, conflict resolution and communication for officers and their families-uniquely relevant in the field of corrections.

October 16, 1998

The Department of Correction initiated its recruitment efforts in the Governor's State Employee Mentoring Program, endorsed by the General Assembly in August 1998, to promote state employee mentors for youth-at-risk in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

October 20, 1998

Staff obtained a $925,000 federal grant and a $300,000 grant from the Office of Policy and Management to enhance its residential substance abuse treatment program for offenders in the community.

October 30, 1998

The victim/offender awareness program (V.O.I.C.E.S.) began to sensitize inmates to victim's rights and to the negative impact of their criminal acts on victims.

November 20, 1998

Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut opened its new Office Systems Operation at MacDougall Correctional Institution.