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Prisoner furlough programs suspended pending review of Enfield escape incident

ENFIELD — New details Monday in the prisoner escape and subsequent manhunt that started in Enfield and ended in Waterbury.

The manhunt started Saturday and ended late Sunday, but the investigation into what happened and how, is just beginning.

Christopher Somsky, 45, a prisoner at Enfield’s Willard Cybulski Prison escaped Saturday. Not from the prison, but from a re-integration program at Asnuntuck Community College.

The college is just feet away from residential neighborhoods. Enfield Police warned the community. “We make use of an Everbridge notification system and social media blasts as well to let the folks in this town know what has occurred so they can be forewarned,” said Enfield Police Chief Alaric Fox.

Donald Castle of Enfield said he wasn’t worried. “We got a phone call who said there was a prisoner who escaped from Asnuntuck and we have a pretty police department so I knew they had it under control.”

For Somsky, a low-risk offender serving time for robbery, it’s not the first time he’s eluded law enforcement. He was previously convicted of escape, violating parole and failing to show up for court.

State Senator Dennis Bradley Chairs the General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee. “Obviously if you have a repeat offender who has done this specific thing in the past, alarm bells should have been all over. That’s why we need to get the facts. We’re not putting blame on anybody. But we need to address this because it is a problem,” he said.

In a statement sent by Asnuntuck Community College, it  reads in part, “While this was a most unfortunate incident, please bear in mind the number of lives that have been positively changed as part of this program.”

These low-security day programs are meant to help prisoners re-acclimate to life on the outside. “I hope and pray that we don’t take this one poor example and try to make it a new normal of not having programs to help people translation to be actually returning citizens,” said Sen. Bradley.

Despite Enfield’s best efforts in coordination with state police, Somsky didn’t surface until Sunday. He walked into Waterbury Hospital after hurting his hip on the run. “Here were trusting you to be in this program and to have a bit more freedom. When you violate that there has to be still consequences,” said Bradley.

There will be consequences. The DOC says Somsky will be transferred to Northern Correctional Institution and possibly put in administrative segregation. The DOC has suspended all state furlough programs pending of review of this incident.

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