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Connecticut prison population falls below 14,000 inmates

HARTFORD — Connecticut’s prison population has fallen below 14,000 inmates to its lowest level since 1994.

The state Department of Correction reported that it had 13,917 inmates as of Thursday.

That is down from a high of about 19,900 in 2008.

The department says the population at the York Correctional Institution, the state’s only prison for women, was at 942, its lowest since 1996.

Correction Commissioner Scott Semple credits a combination of factors for the low offender population, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Second Chance Society initiative, which among other things reclassified some drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

The Democratic governor announced earlier this month that as a result of the declining population, the state will be closing the 700-bed medium security Enfield Correctional Institution in early 2018.