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Malloy: Number of people in jail for drug possession down 39 percent

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Barbed wire guards the exterior fence of Camps V and VI.

HARTFORD – The number of people in prison for drug possession in Connecticut has been reduced by 39 percent over the year, Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday. He said that number is thanks to his Second Chance Society bill.

There were 510 people in Connecticut prisons for simple drug possession when the bill went into effect in October. Now, there are 311 incarcerated for that offense, Malloy said in a statement.

The bill changed the charge for possession of drugs from a felony with a seven-year maximum sentence to a misdemeanor with a maximum of one year in jail.

Malloy said his goals were to continue the state’s progress in reducing the dropping crime rate and to ensure “that nonviolent offenders successfully reintegrate into society and become productive workers in Connecticut’s economy.”

“We can truly be tough on crime by being smart on crime, and that includes creating a system that focuses on permanent reform, not permanent punishment,” Malloy said.

Around this time last year, there were 16,084 people in Connecticut prisons, today there are 15,195, Malloy touted.

The state’s total prison population has been reduced more than five percent, at a 19-year low, according to the statement.