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Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Before the Hartford Reentry Welcome Center opened, people in the city fresh out of prison didn’t have one central place where they could find housing, counseling or even a clean, safe place to use the bathroom. Now, they do. The center - located in City Hall -  is a partnership between Community Partners in Action, the City of Hartford, the Department of Corrections and more than 40 local organizations.

Jenn Vargas / Flickr

Today, we take a look at a series of disturbing cases of alleged medical malpractice of inmates incarcerated in Connecticut.

The Psychopath Show

Aug 23, 2018
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules.

But, if we use it that way, it's not a very useful term. A sociopath is not the same thing as a jerk. In fact, the person you know who strikes you as a jerk is probably not a sociopath because it's not in the best interests of sociopaths to let you know what kind of people they are and sociopaths are usually pretty good about acting in their own best interests.

So, what does this term mean?

Sent To A Hospital, But Locked In Prison

Aug 6, 2018
Andrew Butler, who needed psychiatric care, was transferred from a hospital to a prison last year in New Hampshire.
Photo by Wyatt Farwell. Courtesey of Doug Butler

Andrew Butler’s hallucinations and paranoia began last summer. When they persisted into the fall, his father agreed to have him civilly committed — involuntarily sent to the state psychiatric hospital to receive treatment. A few months into his stay at New Hampshire Hospital, Butler was transferred.

To a prison.

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

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.

In the first lawsuit of its kind, the NAACP and Yale Law School are suing the State of Connecticut for the use of prison gerrymandering.

THOMAS HAWK / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lawmakers in Washington are attempting to overhaul the criminal justice system. Their aim is to find a solution to mass incarceration and reduce recidivism rates. But one expert doesn’t think the measure goes far enough. 

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

A commencement ceremony was held Monday at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield, where six incarcerated students graduated with certificates in advanced machine technology.

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A Nigerian musician, who regularly performs for young prison inmates in his native country, will make his American debut early next month in Connecticut.

JENN VARGAS/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

As Connecticut sees fewer people behind bars and a drop in crime rates, officials say there’s some concern over the lack of services for those transitioning to the outside.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state Department of Correction is about to be directly responsible for providing health care for prison inmates in Connecticut, ending a long-time contract with UConn. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: we sit-down with Connecticut Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple. In recent months, Semple’s agency has garnered statewide attention -- specifically with regard to reports involving prison health care and security.

We take a closer look at those issues and talk more broadly about trends within Connecticut's prison system.

Do you have a question or comment for Commissioner Semple? We want to hear from you. 

James Forman, Jr. won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, "Locking Up Our Own: Crime And Punishment In Black America."
Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction went to former public defender, now Yale University law professor, James Forman, Jr. for his book Locking Up Our Own: Crime And Punishment In Black America.

Dying In Prison

Mar 27, 2018
Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

"Compassionate release" of our sickest and oldest prisoners is a way to reduce the federal prison population. It's also meant to save on the high cost of health care for aging inmates, and show some -  well, compassion, to prisoners closing in on the end of their lives. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

The November midterms are fast-approaching -- raising concerns about election security and the safeguarding of local voter identity.

This hour, we look at how Connecticut is responding with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Plus: a Middletown-based prison program gives incarcerated adults the opportunity to work towards an Associate degree behind bars.

We learn about the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education and its recent degree-granting collaboration with Middlesex Community College.

And finally: Have recent weather reports left you feeling underwhelmed? Don’t be upset with your local forecaster, says Quinnipiac University professor Ben Bogardus.

Coming up, Bogardus joins us along with NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. And we want to hear from you. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

On a national “Day of Empathy” for those in the criminal justice system, Governor Dannel Malloy proposed a law to recognize the unique needs of women in prison.

Updated at 6:10 a.m. ET

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to keep open the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, after pledging during the campaign to "load it up with some bad dudes."

Ben Oberg/flickr creative commons

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

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

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.

Gerard Chappell working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates. 

Roger Jones / Creative Commons

Transgender activist Chelsea Manning spoke to students on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown Wednesday evening. She spent seven years in a military prison after participating in one of the largest data leaks in U.S. history.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The brother of a man who was abused at a Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut says the scope of what he had to endure was “incomprehensible.” 

Last week, state lawmakers decided to allow some people with criminal records to work in casinos. The head of MGM Springfield said the company is "very excited" by the change. 

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Although there’s no law preventing former convicted felons from practicing law in Connecticut, it’s state regulation that any applicant for the bar exam must prove “his or her good moral character and fitness to practice law by clear and convincing evidence.”

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed several bills into law on Wednesday that he says will reform the state’s criminal justice system and make it easier for poor people to make bail, and avoid incarceration.

Logan Prochaska / Creative Commons
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A Connecticut man convicted of a hate crime is now working to combat stereotypes about Islam.

His story, which made headlines around the world, sprang out of an attack on a mosque in Meriden in 2015.

A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.

On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.

NPR's Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:

Screenshot / WGBH

Governor Dannel Malloy’s “Second Chance Society” has reduced prison population numbers and streamlined aspects of the parole process in Connecticut. Today, about 5,000 people are supervised by parole in the state, but about a third of all parolees violate terms of their release and end up back behind bars.

A legislative commission studying the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island prisons reported back to lawmakers Thursday. The group also made recommendations to reform the practice, which critics say can create lasting mental health issues in the prison population.

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