Connecticut Has Done Something Remarkable With Crim

In 1999 Connecticut had so many people in prison that it paid to send 500 of them to be incarcerated in Virginia. Nearly 25 years later, the state has not only sliced its number of imprisoned people in half, but been able to close more than 10 prisons while keeping its crime rate at its lowest level in more than 40 years.

“It is kind of remarkable,” said Mike Lawlor, a former state legislator and state official who has worked on these issues for 30-plus years. “We could probably close a few more.”

Connecticut currently runs 13 prisons, which house about 10,000 people. Two-thirds of these are serving sentences; the other third are those who have yet to be sentenced. (Five of the closed prisons have been mothballed, meaning they could be reopened if needed.) The state’s rate of 155 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents is now the ninth lowest in the country and well below the national average of 350 people per 100,000.


Categories: Law/Justice

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