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Courtesy: Diane Lewis

Telephone calls were a lifeline for Hartford resident Diane Lewis when her son was incarcerated.

“I made these phone calls priority over everything, before any bill in this house,” she said.

But affording those calls was a struggle. Lewis and other Connecticut families have paid nearly $5 for a 15-minute phone call through a prepaid account -- among the highest rates in the nation. 

File: Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield.
Connecticut Public Radio

A report released last month says that too often, young people nationwide are permanently separated from their incarcerated parents. By separated, the report means put up for adoption with the rights of the birth parents terminated. And this happens to families of color at a disproportionately high rate, the report says.

Kelan Lyons / CT Mirror

The state Department of Correction has decreased the prison population by about 3,500 during the pandemic, making it the lowest it’s been in over 30 years. But criminal justice advocates are calling for better care for those still behind bars -- specifically a reform to solitary confinement, or what the system calls “administrative segregation.”

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

One of the harshest punishments you can receive in prison is solitary confinement. Advocates say solitary confinement does more harm than good - leaving the incarcerated with lasting mental health problems that go beyond the duration of their served sentence. 

Connecticut AFL-CIO (Screengrab)

Essential workers infected by the coronavirus want Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system updated to meet their needs.

Chion Wolf

As part of our Reports From Recovery series, today we’re hearing from two women whose heroin addictions shook up their lives, and put them right up close to the edge of existence.

State To Close Only 'Supermax' Prison, Northern Correctional Institution

Feb 8, 2021
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Northern Correctional Institution, the state’s controversial “supermax” prison located in Somers, will close by July 1, the Department of Correction announced to its staff on Monday.

CT-N (Screengrab)

On Thursday, a legislative committee took up the permanent appointment for acting Connecticut Department of Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros.

Olivia Drake / Wesleyan University


The state is considering early release for a Hartford man convicted of killing his cousin in 1994.

Attorneys for Clyde Meikle, who is serving 50 years for murdering Clifford Walker with a shotgun, have recommended he get out in 2022 after serving 28 years. The potential release has generated strong feelings from both state officials as well as the victim’s family.

While still just a law student, Brittany K. Barnett met Sharanda Jones, a single mother, business owner and a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first time drug offense.

Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

As COVID-19 drags on and advocates continue to pressure state officials to release people from prisons and jails, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has a tool that, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, gives them “unfettered discretion” to commute a person’s sentence and shorten the length of time spent behind bars.

Angel Quiros walks toward a building for new-employee training.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

How is the Department of Correction preparing for the next wave of the coronavirus? How are prisons working to contain the spread of the virus amongst Connecticut's prison population? 

This hour, newly appointed DOC Commissioner designate Angel Quiros joins us to answer our questions and yours. 

Albert Woodfox
Courtesy of Grove Atlantic

As a teenager, Albert Woodfox had his first encounter with the criminal justice system. After being sentenced to prison for robbery, he would go on to spend more than 40 years of his life in solitary confinement.

Woodfox is the recipient of the 2020 Stowe Prize, which is awarded to books that illuminate a critical social justice issue in our society.

We hear about his experience surviving solitary in the Louisiana State Penitentiary—known as Angola—one of the nation’s most notorious prisons.

Kelan Lyons / CT Mirror

Tianna Laboy spent nearly 30 days at an inpatient mental health treatment program before she was admitted to York Correctional Institution in August 2017. When she arrived at the Niantic prison, officials put her in the mental health infirmary.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

State lawmakers in Connecticut’s House of Representatives have passed a major police accountability bill in the middle of a national conversation about police violence and racism.

This hour, we check in with CT Mirror reporter, Kelan Lyons to learn more, as the bill heads to the state Senate this week.

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Over the objections of more than 400 inmates, a U.S. district court judge approved an agreement this week between the ACLU of Connecticut and the state on a class-action lawsuit filed to protect the incarcerated population from COVID-19.

Courtesy: Madina Mamadjonova

As COVID-19 continues to spread in ICE detention facilities, researchers are raising concerns that the agency may not be accurately reporting infections and deaths from the virus.

One Connecticut man who has been deemed medically vulnerable remains inside an Alabama detention center. 

Osborn Correctional Nursing Shortage Even Worse Amid Pandemic, Union Says

Jun 15, 2020
Osborn Correctional Institution
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

A year-long shortage of nurses at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers has become an even more pressing problem with the onset of COVID-19, the union representing the nursing staff says.

DOC Commissioner Rollin Cook Resigns

Jun 14, 2020
Rollin Cook
Andrius Banevicius / CT Department of Correction

Department of Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook has resigned from his post effective July 1, citing family obligations in Utah.

Cook announced his resignation in a heartfelt internal memo Friday.

ACLU And Connecticut Settle COVID-19 Prison Lawsuit

Jun 8, 2020
Kelan Lyons / CT Mirror

The ACLU of Connecticut has reached an agreement with the state over its COVID-19 lawsuit filed to protect incarcerated people from the virus.

Lamont Challenged After Seventh Inmate Dies From Coronavirus

May 27, 2020
Barbara Fair, of West Haven, asks Gov. Ned Lamont to explain the lack of testing in the state’s prisons after an seventh inmate reportedly died of COVID-19.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

A prison-rights advocate confronted Gov. Ned Lamont at an outdoor news conference Wednesday, accusing the governor of indifference to the health of prison inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic, not long after the Department of Correction announced that a seventh inmate has died from the disease.

With just a handful of days to go until the state begins to formally, reopen, testing for coronavirus continues to be a major focal point -- and, on Saturday, the state saw a testing surge. 

Osborn Correctional Institute
CTMirror.org

The Department of Correction placed Osborn Correctional Institution on lockdown Friday after 105 asymptomatic inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Judge Orders Federal Prison To Expedite Release Of Danbury Inmates

May 13, 2020

Citing a “once-in-a-century public health crisis,” a U.S. District Court judge has ordered prison officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury to speed up the release of inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Federal Correctional Institution
U.S. Bureau Of Prisons

Attorneys from a Stamford law firm, Quinnipiac University School of Law and Yale Law School filed a class-action federal lawsuit Monday night to force authorities to take emergency measures to protect the more than 1,000 men and women incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A state judge issued a ruling late Friday night dismissing the ACLU of Connecticut’s lawsuit to remove incarcerated people from correctional facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Osborn Correctional Institute
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

With over 500 inmates and staff testing positive for COVID-19, there’s concern that people in Connecticut prisons are at high risk.

One 80-year-old man incarcerated in a medium-security prison had a lawsuit filed on his behalf to get immediate release.

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

An incarcerated person died from COVID-19 on Monday, the first Connecticut inmate to succumb to the virus as the numbers of positive cases behind bars continued to spike.

CHESHIRE, CT - April 06, The John R Manson Youth Institute on April 06, 2020 in Cheshire, Connecticut. Inmates & DOC employees continue to test positive for COVID-19 at jails & prisons throughout the state.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s prisons and jails, the Department of Correction will house all infected inmates at four facilities: Manson Youth Institution or Northern, York or Garner Correctional Institutions.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is calling in to give us the latest on the state’s response to coronavirus

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