Accomplishments in 2010
January 5, 2010
Energy conservation efforts with the agency, have resulted in the Facilities Management and Engineering Services Unit completing 36 energy saving projects. Annually the projects are saving the agency $599, 649 annually as well as achieving a reduction in CO2 emissions of some 1,593 metric tons. Sixteen additional energy conservation projects are scheduled for completion in 2010 and are expected to increase the cost savings to more than $880, 000 annually.
March 17, 2010
The most recent study of the size of the national prison population, conducted by the Pew Center on the States, shows Connecticut in the top seven in terms of reducing its inmate population. The measurement of Connecticut's prison population showed a decline of 4.6 percent or 945 offenders. In all, 27 states showed a reduction in their prison populations while 23 increased. The study of the inmates in state custody during calendar year 2009, found the first decrease in the overall national population in nearly 40 years.
March 23, 2010
The on going efforts of the Connecticut Department of Correction to take every opportunity to reduce expenses and achieve efficiencies where ever possible have been detailed to the Legislature's Appropriations Committee by Acting Commissioner Brian K. Murphy. At a public hearing on agency deficiencies, the committee was told that overtime had been reduced by 180,000 hours as compared to the same period last year, the shortfall in Other Expenses had been cut by more than $5-million, and the number of employees out on Worker's Compensation had been cut by 15 percent as the Department enhances its Light Duty positions for employees who are not able to perform normal duties. Through continuing efforts to cope within the current economy, Commissioner Murphy predicted the agency will be able to meet its budget target this year.
May 26, 2010
Based on concerns for the safety and security of the agency's facilities as well as the personal safety of its staff, the department was successful after two years of lobbying efforts at the State Legislature, to secure the passage of HOUSE BILL 5404, An "Act Concerning the Nondisclosure of Certain Information Regarding Certain Employees to Inmates Under the Freedom of Information Act." The new law will prohibit what had become an increasing effort by inmates to utilize the State's Freedom of Information Act to obtain personal information about staff in order to undermine their authority.
June 8, 2010
In compliance with Public Act 08-01, the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC), in collaboration with the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) of the State Judicial Branch has signed a contract with The Connection Inc. for the creation of a 24 bed, sex offender treatment facility to be built on the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. While the CSSD portion of the facility will deal with male probationers, the 12 beds assigned to the DOC will act as a pre-release halfway house.
June 11, 2010
The on going energy conservation efforts of the Connecticut Department of Correction have been selected to receive a 2010 Connecticut Climate Change Leadership Award, presented by the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change. The award is part of an effort to increase public awareness of climate change solutions and recognize individuals and organizations that have taken exemplary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. The Department of Correction has reduced its energy profile by implementing 14 energy conservation projects. These included six energy efficient lighting upgrades as well as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and kitchen upgrades. These projects save the agency an additional $29,867.00 annually for a combined annual savings from energy conservation of $329,381.00 and a total reduction in carbon dioxide of 1,075 metric tons.
June 24, 2010
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Connecticut was one of just 16 states reporting a decrease in their inmate population at midyear 2009. The report shows a decrease of .8 percent between December 31, 2008 and June, 30, 2009. Another Bureau of Justice Statistics report issued at the same time, Prisoners at Yearend 2009- Advanced Counts, includes Connecticut among 24 states with offender decreases. It shows a decrease of 4.6 percent between 2008 and 2009, while the change from 2000 to 2008 shows an increase of only 1.5 percent.
June 30, 2010
In its continuing effort to be good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars, the Connecticut Department of Correction has reduced its overtime usage for the fiscal year by more than 147,000 hours as a result of intensive scrutiny of all personnel costs. This resulted in a savings of nearly $5.5-million. Additionally, the agency's Other Expense costs were reduced more than $10-million for fiscal year 2010 as compared to the year earlier.
The agency's Human Resources Unit was charged with completing more than 400 retirements agency wide by this date, as a result of the state's Retirement Incentive Program (RIP). The Unit developed a comprehensive plan which streamlined operations while maintaining essential services to complete the task on time.
In an effort to make full use of taxpayer dollars and return injured staff to work in an expeditious manner, the Human Resources Unit has enhanced the Agency's Recuperative Post program by utilizing the Light Duty concept. A total of 422 posts were created and over 161 NP-4 bargaining unit members, who would not have qualified for the traditional Recuperative Post program, returned to a light duty assignment.
The agency's Administrative Division has undertaken several measures in an effort to be more economical and efficient in the expenditure of state funds. The Food Services Unit made the choice of milk or beverage available to the inmates that were in open feeding facilities, versus providing everyone with milk resulting in cost savings of $69,029.27, which when combined with other cost savings measures resulted in a total savings of $1,643,612.43. By initiating a review of staff uniform requisitions, fiscal warehouse staff reduced uniform expenditures by about $150,000 in fiscal year 2010. Through energy conservation efforts, the agency's 2009 energy savings were $2,392,337 and a total reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 1,075 metric tons.
The Connecticut Department of Correction undertook several initiatives to enhance public safety in regard to the discharge of sex offenders. The Parole and Community Services Division, Special Management Unit adopted a strategy of conducting statewide sex offender compliance check carried out in conjunction with local law enforcement. The Special Intelligence Unit implemented the Hartford Shelter Notification Program, which provides Hartford Police with names of offenders discharging into local shelters. Osborn Correctional Institution created a Sex Offender/High Notoriety Checklist for the purposes of notifying applicable local agencies of sex offenders discharging into their communities.
August 15, 2010
The Mental Health Unit of the agency's Parole and Community Services Division presented at the American Parole and Probation Associations 35th Annual training Institute in Washington D.C. The topic was," Breaking Down Barriers, Connecticut's Collaborative Reentry Model for Mentally Ill Offenders." The Unit provides specialized community oversight of offenders with significant mental health issues, to insure that they have the necessary support to insure a successful reintegration into law abiding society.
September 1, 2010
The Department's Time Out Program (TOP), in place since March of 2008 at the Robinson Correctional Institution, has now been expanded to the York Correctional Institution, the state's sole facility for female inmates. Offenders who fail to comply with community supervision requirements are returned to the TOP program for intensive programming aimed at redirecting them to law-abiding behavior. Program completion can result in a return to placement under community supervision within 60 days, as opposed to remaining incarcerated for an indefinite period of time, as occurred in the past.
September 10, 2010
A new correctional class of 120 cadets has entered the nationally accredited Maloney Center for Training and Development after being selected from a total of 6,144 applicants for the positions. After several phases of testing by the Departments of Corrections and Administrative services a pool of 1,880 applicants remained, from which the final 120 were chosen. They will complete 10 weeks of training before graduating from the academy.
October 1, 2010
The Connecticut Department of Correction has been awarded a $750.000 Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Grant, which will support an offender reentry project in the City of New Haven. It is expected that between 100 and 125 offenders will be served during a one year period. Participants will be assisted in coordinated their reentry plan and addressing core needs such as employment, family reunification and housing.
October 29, 2010
A new report from the Vera Institute of Justice, which surveyed state corrections agencies about their planned appropriations for 2010, credits Connecticut with the second highest spending reduction in the country behind only New York. The report shows Connecticut having achieved a 7.6 percent reduction in correctional spending between Fiscal Year 2010 and Fiscal Year 2011. The cuts were attributed to decrease in overtime, use of stimulus funds to expand video conferencing, furloughs, hiring freezes, reducing programs and closing facilities. The report cited New York's reduction at 9.5 percent. A total of 23 states achieved reductions while 19 showed increases in spending.
December 1, 2010
The Connecticut Department of Correction has revised its Administrative Directives to allow family and friends who are not on an offender's active visiting list to provide funds to the inmate through Inmate Accounts. Previously only those on a visiting list could deposit funds to an offenders account. This permits greater support for the offender by family and friends who are unable to visit, or who, for example may live out of state and would not be on the visiting list.
The agency's Human Resources Unit was able to decreased current employee active Workers' Compensation lost time cases from 207 in August 2009 to 130 in December 2010. This was accomplished through centralized dedicated case management for each district and the utilization of the DOC's Light Duty-Return to Work Program with the NP-4 union. This program was initially implemented in October 2009 and over 306 staff members have been placed into light duty positions through December 17, 2010.
December 21, 2010
According to the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Connecticut is one of 24 states that successfully reduced the size of their incarcerated population between 2008 and 2009. Connecticut was in the top ten of states that achieved decreases with a 4.6 percent reduction in its inmate census.
December 23, 2010
The Connecticut Department of Social Services has informed the Department of Correction that its Embracing Fatherhood program has successfully completed the process and has been awarded state certification. The parenting program is considered to be an essential part of the department's Reentry Model as it helps insure that an intact family unit will be available to support the offender's reintegration into law abiding society. The program is certified until 2014.
December 31, 2010
Utilizing modern technology as a means of seeking budgetary efficiencies where ever possible, the Connecticut Department of Correction has significantly increased its use of video conferencing, achieving a savings of in excess of $1-million in the area of inmate transportation during the past calendar year. Some 4,588 such video conferences, an increase over the 4,417 conducted in 2009, connected inmates at the state's correctional facilities to hearings conducted for parole, state court; civil, family and habeas matters, federal court, probation, immigration, Social Security, the State Claims Commission and a number of others. More important than the cost savings however, was the enhancement to public safety as the inmates never left the security of the correctional facility.
As part of the agency's ongoing efforts to seek efficiencies and savings wherever possible, the agency has received $51,000 in energy savings rebates in the past six months and will finish the year with approximately $100,000 in savings through the enhanced monitoring of telephone usage.
The Food Service Unit saved $1,554,946.00 off its food service budget, $23385.55 of this came off of our bakery savings-due in part to a new innovative program that several facilities have embarked upon making rolls from scratch to use in place of sliced bread to offset the cost of bread. Also, $374,253.30 of the $1,554,946.00 was saved off our dairy purchases, $69,000 of the dairy savings was due to the department giving the choice of milk or beverage available to the inmates that were in open feeding facilities.
In support of the agency's Reentry Model of corrections, the Manson Youth Institution has instituted a Reentry Unit, which assists in preparing offenders who have been granted discretionary community placement as they transition back into their home communities. A Reentry Work Group was also established. It is comprised of agencies which can offer support and resources to those community based offenders.
The New Haven Correctional Center has partnered with the City of New Haven, Office of Offender Reentry, in a new volunteer program that assists short term offenders, such as those held at the jail, with reentry. The facility also played a lead role in the multi-disciplinary planning process for a Second Chance Act Grant, which will assist offenders returning to the New Haven area.
With more staff than any other state agency called up to active military service since 9/11 the Connecticut Department of Correction has undertaken a Yellow Ribbon support effort, to remember those men and women and their families during the holidays. More than 2,000 ribbons were sold at $2 each, raising enough funds for holiday baskets and gift cards for some 70 staff members.