INCARCERATION

A new unit at Connecticut's York Correctional Institution was formally unveiled Monday. The specialized unit focuses on preparing young women offenders for life after prison.

Connecticut Juvenile Training School Closes

Apr 13, 2018

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Friday that he’s not expecting the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, the state’s only juvenile prison, to ever be used again as a youth detention facility.

“We can reasonably predict that we will have less need for prisons in the future,” Malloy said, “So whether this prison, as badly built and designed as it was, will ever be used for something? I am not sure whether those cells will be. They were cells that were built, for instance, without toilets. Which, you know, made not sense at all.”

Prison entrance.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

After months of contemplation, the Massachusetts legislature has approved and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a pair of bills overhauling the state’s criminal justice system.

For years, the water at one of Massachusetts’ largest prisons — MCI-Norfolk — has been described by prisoners as smelly and looking like black tea.

Massachusetts Department of Correction officials say the water meets state standards for potability. But they acknowledge there’s a problem in at least some of the samples collected from the prison’s well: elevated levels of the mineral manganese, which can cause health problems including a Parkinson’s disease-like neurological disorder.

Connecticut is introducing electronic tablets to prisoners in state facilities this spring. Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple made the announcement in Hartford on Thursday.

Hartford’s mayor announced the city is launching the Reentry Welcome Center for people returning to the community after being incarcerated.

Authorities say a missing inmate who escaped from the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield may have stowed away under a state service vehicle or garbage truck.

As public support for the death penalty wanes, the number of executions and projected death sentences in 2017 rose only slightly, remaining at nearly 25-year lows, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center.

There were 23 executions this year, the center says. Over the past 25 years, only last year's total, 20, was lower.

Charles Manson, the cult leader who drew lasting infamy for directing mass killings in 1969, has died at the age of 83.

Manson had been removed from prison in Corcoran, Calif., where he had been serving nine life sentences, and placed in a nearby hospital for a serious illness. It was the second time this year the mass murderer had been hospitalized.

Recent numbers released by the Justice Department show a drop in overall youth incarceration rates in the United States. But a closer look at the data shows a widening gap between black and white youth confinement. Criminal justice reform advocates say a heightened police presence in communities of color — despite little difference in crime rates between black and white youths — is to blame.