prisons

David Sweat, the surviving convict who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility last June, setting off a 23-day manhunt, spoke at his sentencing on Wednesday. Already facing life in prison without parole on a previous murder conviction, Sweat was sentenced to up to another seven years.

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Correction is changing the way it rewards prison inmates for good behavior.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With another legislative session about to begin, Governor Dannel Malloy has announced new proposals under his Second Chance Society initiative. One of his ideas will change how the state defines a juvenile delinquent.

Osseous / Creative Commons

Dr. Bill Petit spent Sunday, July 23, 2007 playing golf with his father. The day was sunny and hot and a great day to be outside. His wife and two daughters spent the day at the beach. Life was good - until it wasn't.

Within 24 hours, his wife and daughters would be murdered, his home burned, his belongings gone. The trauma would render him unable to return to his medical practice. 

Thomas Hawk /thomashawk / Flickr

Connecticut state police and the Department of Correction said they are investigating the death of an inmate at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic as a possible suicide.

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is to close an annex to the York Correctional Institution, the fifth prison closure in recent years. 

The morning of June 6, 2015 was to become historic for the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.  The facility had never had an escape occur from its maximum security wing – until that day. As part of our series on the biggest stories of 2015, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks back at the 23-day manhunt and its aftermath.

Rennett Stowe / Flickr Creative Commons

Young people coming out of college today have a strong desire to do good in the world, but it’s not easy to find jobs with a social purpose. Instead, many are starting their own businesses, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a social mission.

Connecticut to Open Prison for Younger Adult Inmates

Dec 17, 2015
Kudumomo / Creative Commons

A prison that will exclusively house and deal with the issues of inmates between the ages of 18 and 25 is being planned in Connecticut, said the state's correction commissioner.

Anonymous Inmate / Permission by Ron Jenkins

Dante's painful journey through the nine circles of hell in "Dante’s Inferno" defies description: "If I had verses harsh and grating enough to describe this wretched hole…"

Yet this is the most alluring section of the "The Divine Comedy," in the most enduring poem of all time. Dante Alighieri was a 14th century poet and politician who wrote his epic poem about sin and redemption upon his permanent exile from his beloved city of Florence.

When I first met Shaun Tullar, he was locked up in the Vista Detention Facility in San Diego County, Calif.

He was being held in what the jail calls the vets pod — a ring of cells for veterans to live together like a military unit. We met in a room that felt like a school classroom, but with military flags on the walls, and guards at the door.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most of us, the men at the maximum-security prison in Cranston will sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. Their turkey and stuffing will be seasoned with herbs harvested from their prison garden. 

Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

Young people coming out of college today have a strong desire to do good in the world, but it’s not easy to find jobs with a social purpose. Instead, many are starting their own businesses, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a social mission.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut has received national attention for juvenile justice reforms, like its efforts to reduce the number of kids in the system. But advocates say a black eye remains.

For years, critics of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School have called on lawmakers to close the facility for delinquent boys, saying youth -- especially with a history of trauma -- aren't being helped. 

George Chochos.

Lawmakers in Washington are considering federal criminal justice reform legislation, as some 6,000 inmates are released nationwide, part of the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in U.S. history.

An ex-offender from Connecticut is in Washington, DC today to tell his story as part of Senate and House briefings with faith leaders.

When you’re on vacation or in an unfamiliar part of town looking for something to eat, you might look up restaurant reviews on Yelp to help narrow your choices. But now, prisoners across the country are also gravitating toward the platform and describing their experiences in jail. Review platforms like Yelp have become an unexpected online space for people to make the prison system more transparent while simultaneously fulfilling a personal and therapeutic void.

Connecticut has received six federal grants totaling more than $2 million in support of efforts to reduce recidivism and better reintegrate nonviolent offenders after they are released from the criminal justice system.

fergregory/iStock / Thinkstock

The state of Connecticut has received $2.3 million in grants for programs aimed at reducing recidivism and giving ex-offenders better opportunities to restart their lives.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of more than 2,000 convicted juvenile murderers.

In 2012, the high court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that mandated an automatic sentence of life without any possibility of parole in these cases. The question now is whether that decision applies retroactively.

Todd Lapin / Creative Commons

Inmates from Connecticut are among those expected to be released from federal prisons at the end of October, part of the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in the nation's history. 

Karen Brown / NEPR

In the fall of 2013, Mark Schand walked out of court in Springfield, Massachusetts a free man, after 27 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit.

A former prison worker who helped two convicted murders escape from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York was sentenced Monday to up to seven years behind bars.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Joyce Mitchell, 51, faces a minimum sentence of 2 years and 4 months in prison. She pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her role in providing convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools such as hacksaws, drill bits and lighted eyeglasses ahead of their June 6 prison break.

Office of the State Child Advocate

Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate has released a follow up to their July report on conditions at the state's two juvenile detention centers. 

Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

A Connecticut man who spent more than 12 years in prison for a crime it was determined he did not commit has been awarded $4 million by the state.

Lawrence Miller Jr., who now lives in Branford, received the funds under a state law that established a mechanism to compensate those who file claims of wrongful incarceration and can validate their cases.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

The state's top prosecutor wants the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its recent landmark decision to completely eliminate the death penalty in the state. The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane has filed a motion for argument and motions to strike the 4-3 decision, which was handed down in August.

A new report from Yale Law School looks at solitary confinement in the U.S. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A few miles down the road from the University of Connecticut campus in Mansfield, Connecticut, an abandoned prison sits empty. It's shrouded from public view by a fence of vines and razor wire. 

First in a three-part report on solitary confinement use in U.S. prisons.

In the yard at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, gray-haired men make their way up to a small stage. A towering stone prison wall rises overhead. One by one they sit at a scratchy microphone and tell their stories — of being locked up 23 hours a day in a place that just about broke them.

"This place here really did something to me psychologically," says former inmate Anthony Goodman.

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