Frequently Asked Questions
1. A family member/friend is being incarcerated. Is there some place I can learn about what they are facing and what the rules are within the Department of Correction?
Our Family and Friends Handbook provides detailed information about the agency's rules and regulations as well as the role that loved ones can play in supporting the offender.
2. How many facilities are in Connecticut?
The Department of Correction has 18 Correctional facilities, four of which are currently closed due to a 10 year low in the offender population. Twelve hold adult male offenders, one for teenage male offenders and one for female offenders. In Connecticut both the jails which hold pre-trial offenders and the prisons which incarcerated sentenced offenders come under the Department of Correction. Follow the link to learn more about each Facility.
3. How can victims of a crime be notified when an inmate is being released?
The Connecticut Department of Correction has a Victim Services Unit. Contact Victim Services Unit for more information.
4. If I live near a correctional facility, how will I be notified if something affecting public safety were to happen?
As part of a new, statewide, emergency notification system, residents who live in the area of a correctional facility , may register with www.ctalert.gov . Information about prison issues and other matters of community concern will be provided to you via this system.
5. What career opportunities are available within the Department of Correction?
The Department of Correction is staffed by a variety of professionals including correction officers, clergy, maintenance, clerical, and counselors to name just a few. To explore career options within the Department of Correction.
The Department provides meaningful opportunities for citizen involvement to supplement programs and services through volunteers. Typically, volunteers supplement Addiction Services, Basic Education Services and Chaplaincy Services. Any volunteer applicant shall be considered on the basis of maturity, dependability interest and overall background. Any applicant who seeks to provide professional services shall provide credentials and/or certification by an appropriate organization, college or university. A current or ex-offender shall be precluded from routine participation as a volunteer. However, a current or ex-offender may request permission to participate in writing through the Director of Volunteer Services. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the Department of Correction you may contact the Administrator of the Volunteer Services Unit, Counselor Supervisor Calma Frett at Calma.Frett@ct.gov For more information see Administrative Directive 10.4 Volunteer and Recreation Services. and Volunteer and Recreation Services Page
7. How many inmates are on death row in Connecticut?
Connecticut does not have a death row. On August 13, 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court (4-3) held that the state's administration of the death penalty violated its state constitution, especially in light of the state legislature's prospective repeal of the death penalty in 2012. The ruling meant that the death sentences of the 11 death row prisoners who were not covered by the legislative repeal would be reduced to life without possibility of release.
8. What form of execution does Connecticut have?
Connecticut has abolished capital punishment. On August 13, 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court (4-3) held that the state's administration of the death penalty violated its state constitution, especially in light of the state legislature's prospective repeal of the death penalty in 2012. The ruling meant that the death sentences of the 11 death row prisoners who were not covered by the legislative repeal would be reduced to life without possibility of release.
9. Can I write to someone who is incarcerated?
Yes. All correspondence must include the inmate's full name and their inmate number in addition to the address of the facility where they are incarcerated. There shall be no limit placed on the number of letters an inmate may write or receive at personal expense, except as a disciplinary penalty, in accordance with Administrative Directive 9.5, Code of Penal Discipline.
It is requested that padded mailing envelopes not be utilized in corresponding with inmates as they may present a security issue. The use of such envelopes will result in slower delivery of mail.
Those engaging in correspondence with offenders are encouraged to exercise caution with regard to the release of any personal information that could compromise their safety.
Pen Pal Website Warning!
Discretion is advised when utilizing inmate information from alternative sources such as pen pal web sites, that may be misleading or intentionally inaccurate. The Department does not control the content of information posted on inmate pen pal websites, nor are inmates allowed Internet access. On a case by case basis, and where possible, the Department does review the responses sent to inmates from pen pal web sites to determine if they are consistent with the safety and security of the correctional facility and the rehabilitative interests of the offender.
An inmate may write to anyone except:
- a victim of any criminal offense for which the inmate has served or is serving a sentence, or stands convicted of, or disposition is pending;
- any person under the age of 18 when the person's parent or guardian objects in writing to such correspondence;
- an inmate in another correctional facility, other than immediate family;
- a parolee or inmate on community confinement without the express permission of the Unit Administrator and the addressee's supervisor;
- any person whom the inmate is restrained from writing to by court order; or
- any other person, when prohibiting such correspondence is generally necessary to further the substantial interests of security, order or rehabilitation. (See also Administrative Directive 10.7 Inmate Communication).
10. Can I place a telephone call to someone who is incarcerated?
No, inmates do not have access to incoming telephone calls, however, telephones are available to inmates to place outgoing collect calls or calls that are billed through the Securus option. Each inmate completes a calling list that contains up to ten telephone numbers they may call for social contact.
Credit card calls, billing to a third party, call forwarding, transfers or any other method which circumvents collect call billing shall be prohibited. (See also Administrative Directive 10.7 Inmate Communication).
An inmate who anticipates regular visits shall submit the name and address of each potential visitor to the assigned counselor. The counselor shall forward a copy of the Visiting Application Form, to the prospective visitor, who shall complete and sign the application and mail it back to the assigned counselor. Because this process can take two to three weeks, wardens have the discretion to permit a courtesy visit, for up to two (2) adult visitors from the inmate's immediate family to visit with the inmate prior to the approval of the application. (Note: An adult is defined as an individual who is 18 years of age or older). Children shall be accompanied by an adult on the approved visitor list and remain under the supervision of the adult visitor.
Check the Visitation link on the right column of the home page to determine whether visiting has been canceled at any of the agency's correctional institutions.
Visitors are also encouraged to contact the facility prior to visitation to confirm the visiting schedule and to insure that the inmate they plan to visit has not lost his or her visiting privileges.
You must be able to present a current, photo identification at the correctional facility to be allowed to visit.
It is up to the offender to notify a visitor that they have been added to the visiting list.
(1) Review. The Unit Administrator shall require verification of the visiting application information or any other information deemed significant. A rap sheet and warrant query shall be conducted to verify criminal history information. A personal interview with the visitor applicant may be required.
(2) Current and Ex-Offenders. A current or ex-offender shall be precluded from routine placement on an inmate's visitor list. However, a current or ex-offender may request permission to visit, in writing, through the facility administrator.
(3) Limitations. A Department employee shall be prohibited from placement on an inmate visitor list unless the employee is an immediate family member. No visitor, except an immediate family member, shall be on more than one (1) inmate's visiting list at the same facility.
A visit between an inmate and the inmate's victim shall not be permitted unless approved in writing by the Unit Administrator.
(4) Authorized Number. An inmate shall be authorized to place up to the following number of approved visitors, to include children, on the visiting list:
Level of Facility
3 and 4
A privileged or professional visitor shall not count against the authorized number on an approved visitor list.
Important- Please read the following.
In accordance with Sections 53a-174 through 53a-174b of the Connecticut General Statutes, conveying, passing or causing to be conveyed or passed any controlled drug, intoxicating liquor, firearm, weapon, dangerous instrument or explosive, United States currency, or any rope, ladder or other instrument or device for use in making, attempting or aiding an escape is a crime. Any person not authorized by law who conveys into a correctional facility any letter or other missive which is intended for any person confined therein, or who conveys from within the enclosure to the outside of such facility any letter or other missive written or given by any person confined therein is a crime. Any person not authorized by the Commissioner of Correction or the commissioner's designee who (1) conveys or possesses with intent to convey an electronic wireless communication device to any inmate of a correctional institution while such inmate is in such institution, or (2) uses an electronic wireless communication device to take a photographic or digital image in a correctional institution is a crime. Violators shall be prosecuted.
12. Is transportation available to correctional facilities?
Unfortunately, transportation to correctional facilities is not available at this time.
13. Can I send or drop off clothing for an inmate?
The Connecticut Department of Correction does not allow family and friends to send in or drop off clothing packages for offenders. Clothing is provided by the agency and additional items may be purchased from commissary.
14. How can I send money to an inmate?
Please note: It is no longer required that you be on an inmate's visitor list to be allowed to send a money order or to electronically deposit funds.
By U.S. Mail
When sending a money order it is important to have complete and legible remitter information included with the money order. For your convenience you can download Inmate Trust Fund Remitter Form (PDF, 27 KB) and send it with the money order to:
Inmate Trust Fund
P.O. Box 290800
Wethersfield, CT 06129-0800
If sending a money order, be certain to include the inmate's full name and correctional identification number on the money order. Please include a completed remitter form (PDF, 27 KB) Do not include any correspondence to the inmate.
You may also fund an inmate's account by using the following companies:
For Western Union, please remember:
Pay To: Connecticut DOC
Code City: CTDOC
Account: 8-digit Inmate Number and Inmate Last Name.*
* If inmate number is less than 8 digits, add two zeros at the beginning, i.e., 00123456Johnson
If you have any questions, please call 860-692-7670. Please allow at least 10 working days for money orders to be posted to an inmate's account.
15. Does an inmate have to pay for his or her incarceration?
An offender may be required under Connecticut state law, to reimburse the taxpayers for his or her stay in a correctional facility.
The Department of Administrative Services Collections Recovery Unit is responsible for assessing these costs.
The Collections Recovery Unit is responsible for collecting money due the State of Connecticut from decedent estates or the recipients of unearned income/assets from lawsuits, personal injury insurance claims or inheritances.
DAS - Collections
165 Capitol Ave, Suite 5N
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone - 860 713-5261
16. I am going to be incarcerated. What can I bring to a correctional facility with me?
Money- Any cash will be taken from you and placed in your inmate account. It may then be used to purchase items from commissary.
Clothing- The clothing you are wearing upon admission will be exchanged for a uniform. Underwear, bedding and towels are also provided.
Shoes- Suitable footwear may be retained. Sneakers or shoes must be black, white, or black and white. Shoes and boots can not contain any metal support structure.
Eyeglasses- You will be allowed to retain your eyeglasses if they meet safety and security requirements. Inmates who wear contact lenses will be allowed to retain them until the inmate can be seen by an optometrist, who will determine if there is a medical need for the contacts, or if glasses can be ordered. Health services staff will provide cleaning/soaking solution and a container.
Hygiene items- These will initially be provided for you and will continue to be provided if you are indigent. Otherwise you will be required to purchase them from commissary.
Medication- Any medication in your possession will be confiscated. Upon admission offenders are given a medical screening. Appropriate medication will be provided. In coming offenders may bring a letter from their doctor, on letterhead, listing their current prescriptions.
All incoming property is subject to inspection and rejection. (See also Administrative Directive 6.10 Inmate Property).
17. Can I send an inmate books or a magazine?
Books and magazines can only be sent to an offender, if they are in new condition and are packaged and shipped by the book store, book club or publisher from which they are purchased. Please note all in coming printed material is subject to review under Administrative Directive 10.7 Inmate Communications. Page eight of this Directive outlines the criteria by which the printed material may be allowed or refused.
18. Can I send an inmate CD's?
Approved CD's are available through commissary. Outside CD's and tapes must be educational or religious in nature and not be available through commissary. They may be ordered by the inmate or a third party, from a commercial distributor and must be sent directly by the distributor. Like books or magazines, incoming CD's are subject to review.
19. I have a family member/friend who is incarcerated. Can I assist them by getting involved with such things as programs and educational opportunities within the correctional facility or with early release programs?
The most important assistance that someone can provide an incarcerated family member/friend is to support them and maintain their ties to their loved ones, their home and their community. This can be done through letters, calls and visits. This support is vitally important in maintaining the individual's drive to change their life and in insuring that they will have a good foundation from which to restart their life in a positive direction when they are released. You may be able to act as a sponsor, should your family or friend be appropriate for community placement prior to the end of their sentence. Offenders who wish to participate in programs or who want to determine their eligibility for possible early release, should work through their counselor.
20. What information is available about an inmate?
The Connecticut Department of Correction may provide the following information about someone who is currently incarcerated:
(b) Inmate Number
(c) Date of Birth
(d) Status- Sentenced or Accused (Unsentenced)
(e) Primary Offense (also referred to as Controlling Offense)
(f) Current location
(g) Admission date
(h) Sentencing date (if applicable)
(i) Minimum sentence (if applicable)
(j) Maximum sentence (if applicable)
(k) Minimum release date (if applicable)
(l) Maximum release date (if applicable)
(m) Estimated release date (if applicable)
(n) Detainer (if applicable)
(p) Correctional History
(q) Disciplinary History
21. I’m doing a background check on an individual and want to confirm their conviction.
The Connecticut Department of Correction maintains incarceration dates of an individual. Because an individual was incarcerated does not necessarily mean they were convicted of a crime. It is recommended that confirmation of conviction history be obtained through the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection/State Police Bureau of Identification, who maintains Connecticut criminal histories.