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State to close section of Montville prison due to declining number of inmates, lower crime rate

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FILE photo - Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville (FOX61)

HARTFORD – The state announced Wednesday that it will close the Radgowski Annex Building at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville.

Gov. Dan Malloy made the announcement at the facility. He said the state will save about $3 million a year with the closing. The annex houses up to 254 inmates. It was opened in 1957, and closed between 1991 and 1997. The facility confined both pretrial and sentenced offenders, and serves Superior Courts in Danielson, New London, Norwich, and Windham.

The closure was made possible by a declining prison population and drop in the crime rate in the state.

“As crime in Connecticut has dropped to its lowest level in two generations and the prison population has subsequently declined to its lowest level in 23 years, we’ve been able to create efficiencies by closing outdated prisons and portions of facilities, and reallocating these resources toward efforts that will further enhance public safety initiatives and keep our neighborhoods even safer,” Governor Malloy said.  “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 closing of infrastructure is a good indication that fewer people are returning to prison,” DOC Commissioner Scott Semple said.  “The reduction in the offender population not only speaks to successful criminal justice reforms, but also represents the dedicated work of the men and women of the Department of Correction.”

According to the FBI, reported crime in Connecticut is now at its lowest level since 1967.  Statewide arrests, jail admissions and recidivism are at historic lows as well.  For example, the total number of prisoners returned to prison within one year of release for those released in 2014 was 900 lower than for those released in 2011.

According to officials the state’s total inmate population is approximately 14,560, down from an all-time high in 2008 of 19,894 inmates.

The DOC has closed part or all of six of correctional facilities since 2010.

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