Accomplishments in 2002

March 2002

FOCUS II, the second phase of a unique, multi level program is established in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice to address the issue of job related stress among correctional employees. Through focus groups, non-traditional classes and a web site, FOCUS II enhances the stress reduction skills of correctional supervisors so that they may improve the quality of work life for all staff.

April 2002

York Correctional Institution became the first female pre-trial/sentenced facility in the country to receive accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. An audit by a panel of health care specialists from around the country considered not only the facility medical unit, but also inmate health care throughout the prison. The accomplishment was the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Correction and the University of Connecticut Health Services.

May 10, 2002

The Bergin Correctional Institution announced the opening of its first Job Center which was developed to assist offenders in conducting employment searches and ultimately obtaining employment prior to release. The Center allows inmates to work with staff in conducting employment searches by accessing the Department of Labor's web site, which lists available jobs throughout the state. Several other Centers are planned for implementation in the future.

May 15, 2002

In a proactive partnering with women's advocacy groups, Commissioner Armstrong launched an effort to strengthen the Department's commitment to confront and overcome sexual harassment concerns within the agency. The effort included improvements to the Administrative Directive and to training on the issue which was conducted by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

June 14, 2002

The Department of Justice United States Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut recognized Department of Correction staff of the Field and Security Division for its uncompromising commitment to "protect the public" for assistance in breaking a number of major criminal cases. Staff were recognized for the role they played in significant prosecutions that have been resolved in the past year by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

June 18, 2002

The Connecticut Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presented its highest award to Commissioner Armstrong for exceptional accommodation and support of employees who serve in the military reserves. The Freedom Award was bestowed in recognition of the Commissioner's continuous support of Department of Correction citizen soldiers during deployments, annual training and weekend drills. In addition, the Commissioner's trips to Bosnia and Utah to personally visit with the troops were cited as evidence of his appreciation and dedication to his employees.

June 30, 2002

The end of the fiscal year saw the Department of Correction safely and effectively dealing with continuous record increases in its inmate population. During the preceding 12 months, nearly a record a week was established as the population swelled by more than 1,100 additional offenders. For the first time the agency has more than 20,000 inmates under its supervision. Despite the increase, the Department has maintained the occurrence of violent incidents whether inmate-on-inmate or inmate-on-staff remain at record low levels.

October 2, 2002

MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution received a score of 97.46 during their first American Correctional Association (ACA) audit. Following nearly two years of preparation the audit team found that the facility has met 100% of its mandatory standards and complied with 423 out of 434 non-mandatory standards that applied to the institution.

October 16, 2002

State School Teachers Noreen Hughes, Marilyn Baziak, and Diane Stawiarski of the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution received the Connecticut Multicultural Educator of the Year Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). The three educators have taken on active roles to receive training in various areas of multiculturalism and applied it not only to their classrooms but also to the school and correctional facility environment.

October 23, 2002

In a partnering with the Lutheran Social Services of Southern New England, the Good News Garage program was unveiled at the Manson Youth Institution. As part of the facility's vocation technical program inmates at the facility are given instruction in refurbishing automobiles donated to the program which are then provided to former welfare recipients who are joining the state's workforce.

October 24, 2002

The Brooklyn C.I. Cares Program sponsored a three day calendar of events entitled, "Uniting To Keep Kids Safe" for National Make a Difference Day. Over 300 children participated in Operation ALERT - a program that provides digital fingerprints, photographs and DNA samples of children. The children also participated in "Escape School" - a class designed to teach youngsters various strategies that will allow them to flee from a would-be abductor. In addition, through Operation: ALERT Marc Klaas, a national spokesman on child safety was a guest speaker.