Gov. Malloy Announces Enfield Correctional Institution to Close as Result of Declining Crime Rate and Prison Population
Correctional Building Scheduled to Close Early 2018, Saving Taxpayers $6.5 Million Annually
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that as a result of the continuing decline in the state’s crime rate and the resulting drop in the prison population, the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) will be closing the Enfield Correctional Institution in early 2018. The closure of the building, which currently holds around 700 offenders who will be transferred to other facilities, will save the state approximately $6.5 million in annual operating costs.
“As crime in Connecticut has dropped to its lowest level in two generations, new prison admissions have declined 38 percent over the last ten years, and the prison population has reached its lowest level in 23 years, we’ve been able to create efficiencies by closing outdated facilities and reallocating these resources toward efforts that will further enhance public safety initiatives and keep our neighborhoods even safer,” Governor Malloy said. “Across the nation, elected leaders from both sides of the aisle are recognizing that these kinds of reforms are working, and Connecticut is leading these efforts. Violent, high-risk inmates are serving more of their original sentences than ever before. We are making real progress and in the process, improving lives and bettering our communities.”
The Enfield Correctional Institution is a Level 3, medium security, dormitory style facility (Level 5 being the highest security level). Located at 289 Shaker Road in Enfield, the facility was identified for closure following a cost analysis of all the existing infrastructures throughout the state’s system. It originally opened in 1962 as a low-level, pre-release facility.
Today, there are 14,103 inmates incarcerated within Connecticut’s state prison system – 836 fewer than on this date last year. The state’s prison population reached an all-time high of 19,894 inmates in 2008.
DOC Commissioner Scott Semple credits a combination of factors for the historically low offender population, including the Second Chance legislation introduced by Governor Malloy, steadily declining crime rates, and enhanced agency reentry efforts.
“When you couple the forecast on population counts with the fiscal challenges facing the state of Connecticut, this closure is a responsible and appropriate decision,” Commissioner Semple said. “As we navigate through this process, the safety and security of all our institutions will remain a top priority – one which will not be compromised.”
The closure of the facility comes on the heels of several other closures throughout the state prison system in recent years, including:
- The Radgowski Annex Building at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville in April 2017 at savings of $3 million per year.
- Four housing units within the Osborn Correctional Institution known as the “Q’s” in October 2016 at a savings of $2.2 million per year.
- The Niantic Annex of the York Correctional Institution in January 2016 at a savings of $7.6 million per year.
- The Fairmont building at the Bridgeport Correctional Center in July 2015 at a savings of $2.1 million per year.
- The Bergin Correctional Institution in Storrs in August 2011 at a savings of $12 million per year.
- The Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic in June 2011 at a savings of $12.3 million per year.
- The Webster Correctional Institution in Cheshire in January 2010 at a savings of $3.4 million per year.
The Enfield Correctional Institution is staffed by approximately 190 correctional professionals consisting of a variety of job classifications, the vast majority of whom are employed as correction officers. The DOC will work with these staff members and their associated bargaining unit’s leadership to redeploy them to other facilities within the agency. Transfers of staff will focus on existing vacancies within close proximity to the Enfield prison in an effort to minimize the impact on employees and their families.