Department of Correction
At a Glance
BRIAN K. MURPHY, Acting Commissioner
Carol Salsbury, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Administration
Mark Strange, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Operations
Kimberly Weir, Director of Security
Patrick Hynes, Director of Programs and Treatment
Brian Garnett, Director of External Affairs
Joseph Haggan, Director of Parole and Community Services
Established – 1968
Statutory authority – CGS Sec. 18-78
Central office – 24 Wolcott Hill Road,
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Number of full-time employees – 6,319
Recurring operating expenses – $672,382,402
Capital outlay – $1,370,785
Organizational structure – Six divisions to include: Administration, Operations, Security, Programs and Treatment, External Affairs, Parole and Community Services, as well as an Affirmative Action Unit and Legal Affairs Unit.
The Department of Correction shall protect the public, protect staff, and provide safe, secure, and humane supervision of offenders with opportunities that support successful community reintegration.
The Department of Correction, by direction of the courts, confines and controls accused and sentenced inmates in correctional institutions, centers and units, and by statute administers medical, mental health, rehabilitative, and community based service programs.
The Department of Correction on June 30, 2010 confined 18,416 offenders, a 2.4 percent decline when compared with the incarcerated population on June 30, 2009. Including those inmates on Department-administered community supervision, correctional staff supervised a population of 23,089 offenders.
The Administrative Division oversees essential support function and overall administrative management for the Department.
The Fiscal Services Unit develops, implements and monitors the budget and provides fiscal services.
The Fiscal Services Unit collaborated with senior management, facility administration and support services staff in aggressively reducing agency expenses this year while maintaining critical services and preserving safety and security. These efforts contributed to a reduction in agency “Other Expenses” of over $10 million in FY10 compared to the prior year.
The Inmate Trust section expanded use of electronic transfers to accommodate deposits to inmates’ trust accounts via the Internet, telephone, or commercial locations, expediting over 23,000 transactions.
The Grants Administration section managed grants totaling nearly $12 million, of which $4.5 million was new funding including four 2009 ARRA “stimulus” grants. Staff submitted 17 applications for grants and training and technical assistance, and assisted with 36 applications from other entities applying for government and foundation grants.
Correctional Commissaries processed over 700,000 orders generating sales in excess of $14.3 million. Asset Management staff tracked capital and controllable assets valued at over $54.6 million.
Contracts Administration staff managed over 130 contracts with a combined value of over $140 million.
ENGINEERING AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
The Engineering and Facilities Management Unit provides all maintenance, construction, telecommunications, project design, building management, engineering support and a Life Safety Program.
The Engineering and Facilities Management Unit supervised the completion of 56 construction projects at a total cost of $5,660,942.43.
The Unit’s commitment to energy efficiency and conservation remained a priority with 23 completed projects resulting in annual savings of $346,445.00.
The Department was one of only eight recipients in the state to receive the 2010 Climate Change Leadership Award. The Department’s dedication and ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases was recognized by Governor Rell and her Steering Committee.
The Unit continued to provide certification to its professional staff through the nationally recognized Building Operator Certification Program. Currently, there are 12 Plant Facilities Engineers, two Design Engineers and three Correctional Maintenance Supervisors with this certification.
The Unit purchased an additional 796 new TAIT portable radios and continued to deploy these radios into various facilities and facility operations. To date just below 2,000 portable units have been put into service, which will complete 14 facilities and nine tactical/support units. The goal is to secure additional funds and complete the remaining facilities.
Eight video conference rooms were completed, 13 are in construction and ten have approved project requests. Providing access and participation to court proceedings and parole hearings remotely from specially designed video rooms within the correctional facility, these rooms eliminate the movement and tracking of large number of inmates on court trips, reduce staff travel and associated transportation expenses while increasing the safety and security of all participants.
The engineering team, in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, has started the block wall remediation project at the York Correctional Institution. This project involved the removal and replacement of all the buildings’ exterior masonry walls on the west side including several buildings on the east side. This involved tearing down the exterior block walls, protecting and evaluating the existing framing components, apply water proofing material and then rebuild the exterior wall using new masonry blocks and concrete products. All this construction is being accomplished while maintaining facility operations and programs.
FOOD & NUTRITIONAL SERVICES
The Food and Nutritional Unit provides food services to the inmate population.
The Unit feeds approximately 18,175 inmates per day, three times per day, 365 days a year, totaling approximately 19,904,000 meals per year. Even with the increasing prices of food, the approximate cost per inmate per day is $2.36.
The Food Production Center (Cook/Chill) provided over 5,000,000 lbs. of food for all facilities in this year for the inmate population’s consumption, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables through the Department’s commitment to utilize Connecticut grown produce.
The Unit continued to institute a more health conscientious menu, providing more protein and fiber, and lowering fat content in the meals. Taking advantage of opportunity and spot buys helped save the department approximately $1.6 million dollars in food costs.
Working with Correctional Managed Health Care (CMHC), a more effective Therapeutic Diet menu was developed, implementing low fat, low cholesterol cook chill products through the Food Production Center, helping to aid the facilities in serving special diets to inmates.
The Human Resources Unit provides all human resource functions, including labor relations, recruitment and payroll.
The Retirement Incentive Program (RIP) generated over 400 retirements agency-wide resulting in the Human Resources Unit being charged with working closely with agency leadership to develop a comprehensive plan to streamline operations while maintaining essential services. The Unit developed and implemented a critical refill plan, which required the Governor’s approval. The plan was approved before most agencies developed their strategic recovery initiatives. The plan consisted of 285 positions deemed to be critical to the Department’s continued operation. Many of these positions were filled before July 1, 2009 to provide managerial and supervisory coverage within the correctional facilities and to ensure legal authority existed to maintain a safe, secure, well managed operation. The additional positions were needed to provide critical services associated with inmate management, to oversee large areas of inmate programming, classification and unit management, and to complete a $16 million remediation project at York Correctional Institution. Most of the positions were refilled using promotional recruitment processes for positions of: Deputy Warden, Correctional Captain, Correctional Counselor Supervisor, Correctional Lieutenant and Correctional Food Services Supervisor.
The Correction Officer recruitment efforts produced a class of 120 for the August 14, 2009 Hazardous Duty Pre-service class. Recruitment processes, which have historically extended throughout the year, were completed within two to six months as the threat of losing previously approved positions appeared eminent due to the fiscal environment.
The Unit worked with the facilities to develop a redeployment plan to reassign 98 staff from Webster Correctional Institution by January 15, 2010. The staff included members of different bargaining units with varying contractual requirements governing staff reassignments. The Unit met with the affected bargaining unit leadership, executed memoranda of understanding outlining the provisions of the closing, scheduled meetings with the staff to offer reassignment opportunities within the Department via facility selection forms, and worked with the facility and unions to rectify any issues, which could negatively impact the closing. The Unit issued reassignment letters to staff and worked with the receiving facilities to ensure a smooth transition.
The Department’s Light Duty Program was designed to afford employees, who are unable to work due to a filed Workers’ Compensation claim or an injury preventing them from performing the full range of duties for their position, to transition back to full duty. The Unit worked with AFSCME, Council 4 and the Department of Administrative Services to enhance the Department’s Recuperative Post program utilizing the Light Duty concept. Unit staff conducted tours of the individual work stations to identify posts conducive to light duty responsibilities and established job descriptions for the facilities to use to manage the staff, the program, and the work being performed. The Unit worked with the employee and his/her physician to identify their suitability for the program. A total of 422 posts were created over all three shifts and over 161 NP-4 bargaining unit members, who would not have qualified for the traditional Recuperative Post program, returned to a light duty assignment. A total of 35 staff is currently in the program, and as a result of the Light Duty program, indemnity costs to the state have decreased significantly.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The Management Information Systems Unit (MIS) maintains the Department’s computer network and all hardware and software, as well as administering the data extraction.
With the setup of video conferencing at every facility, over 4,750 video conferences were held this last year. This was an increase of over 2,000 hearings from the previous year. Over 2,200 parole hearings were held with the use of video conferences during the year.
The new agency Information Technology Plan was completed and submitted to DOIT. The new plan outlines the department’s IT initiatives for Fiscal Years 2011-2013. It includes a new section, “Public Access Data Sharing”, outlining the department’s efforts to share information with not only outside agencies but with the general public.
A new database system was created for the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BOPP) to track the pardons process. The system was the first .Net system developed by MIS and replaced an interim solution, Excel spreadsheet. The new system allows the Board to track and schedule pardons requests and hearings more efficiently. The BOPP had previously done this work manually. This has allowed the BOPP to redeploy staff to other pressing areas.
The Department, in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), developed and implemented a new system to share police reports as part of the Criminal Justice Data Sharing initiative from Public Act 08-01. The new system will now allow DCJ to scan police reports into their system and then send nightly electronic feeds of these reports to the Department. The feeds come into the Department and then staff from Offender Classification and Population Management (OCPM) and the BOPP download those reports into a secure folder to be used for their processing. The new process gives the groups more immediate access to the information and does not require any duplication of effort.
The Department was one of only eight state correctional organizations to be given a status of green for completing the information gathering for the Performance Based Measurement System (PBMS) as part of the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) data sharing initiative.
As part of the Department’s business reengineering project to modernize our IT systems, a comprehensive RFP was released for a correctional management system. Nine vendors responded and the department is currently in the process of evaluating the vendors before choosing a solution.
MALONEY CENTER FOR TRAINING AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Maloney Center for Training and Organizational Development (MCTOD) merged over the year to better serve the Department and oversees all agency-conducted training, including pre-service for new hires and ongoing in-service training as well as new supervisor and leadership training. The Organizational Development Unit serves as a resource to the agency in the areas of research and evaluation and organizational development services, such as strategic planning and performance improvement initiatives.
The Department rolled out its first on-line courses through its Learning Management System (LMS) in November 2009. LMS is a computer based training regimen that has redefined the process by which nearly 7,000 staff receives annual refresher information on key correctional subjects. There are currently six in-service training topics as well as Microsoft courses available. Web-based training courses continue to pave our way into an economically efficient future. Although difficult to pinpoint an exact dollar amount, the projected cost savings utilizing an online learning environment are extraordinary. This method of delivering courses to our staff is expected to fulfill many of our in-service and professional development needs. MCTOD continued to receive positive feedback regarding the quality and efficiency of these courses.
Five CPR instructor refresher and Heart Saver Re-certification courses and five CPR instructor Training for Trainers along with the Heart Saver Re-certifications were assembled and administered. The Department passed a total of 114 new CPR instructors and 43 re-certifications. Four two-day Behavior Management Instructor Re-certifications and five five-day Behavior Management Instructor Initial Certifications were conducted, which resulted in 80 re-certifications and 125 new instructors. With this cadre of instructors for both CPR and Behavior Management, the facilities should have the capacity to accomplish the instructor led training in these areas. Instructing at the facilities is anticipated to be a cost savings as staff will not need to travel to training sites. Shut downs and pull posts, for example, will be utilized as timeframes within which to conduct training thereby negating the need to backfill and create overtime situations.
The Succession Planning & Management initiative was revitalized with the resumption of the Succession Planning and Management Committee made up of a cross-agency group of directors and wardens. The focus has been on creating a process by which future leaders have the opportunity to develop professionally. Components include refining the performance management system, redoing the selection process, and creating a self-assessment mechanism to be used in the performance management process. For planning, there is a template for bi-annual succession plan reports by division/facility/unit that is rolled into an agency-wide report as well as color-coded organizational charts for a visual depiction of what can be anticipated for retirements. Knowledge transfer includes the creation of standard operating procedures and individuals relating their career stories via video for use on the intranet.
The Organizational Development Unit approved nine new research projects. There is an ongoing effort to enhance communication between the Department and its external research partners as the Unit works closely with them, from conception and development of a proposal through implementation and completion, with the final outcome being applied to practice and improvements as applicable.
The Deputy Commissioner of Operations oversees the Operation Division, which encompasses 18 correctional facilities that are managed by two District Administrators and 17 Wardens. There are 14 Correctional Institutions and four Correctional Centers, which incarcerate approximately 18,500 inmates. The Division also encompasses a wide range of emergency services that include Correctional Response Teams (CERT), Special Operations Group (SOG), K-9 Unit and Situational Control Hostage negotiators (SITCON). The Division maintains a medical-surgical ward at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, the inmate Correctional Transportation Unit (CTU) and the Department’s Honor Guard and Bagpipe and Drum Band.
North District South District
Bergin Correctional Institution (Storrs) Bridgeport Correctional Center (Bridgeport)
Brooklyn Correctional Institution (Brooklyn) Cheshire Correctional Institution (Cheshire)
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center (Uncasville) Garner Correctional Institution (Newtown)
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution (Suffield) Gates Correctional Institution (Niantic)
Northern Correctional Institution (Somers) Hartford Correctional Center (Hartford)
Osborn Correctional Institution (Somers) Manson Youth Institution (Cheshire)
Robinson Correctional Institution (Enfield) New Haven Correctional Center (New Haven)
Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution (Enfield) Webster Correctional Institutional* (Cheshire)
Enfield Correctional Institution (Enfield) York Correctional Institution (Niantic)
*Closed January 15, 2010
The agency’s correctional facilities remain safe, secure and orderly with incident rates remaining at historically low levels.
During the year, the Division merged the Operations Unit with the Tactical Operations Unit under one Director. This merger has consolidated agency resources and has fostered improved coordination and efficient delivery of unit services in accordance with the agency’s mission.
The Department’s Operations Unit received training, developed working policies and procedures and will be online with Connecticut’s Emergency Notification System (ENS) beginning September 2010. ENS is a crisis communication tool that will allow the Department to quickly communicate urgent information and instructions to correctional employees and private citizens of emergency situations such as riots, hostage situations, major fire and bomb threat.
On January 15, 2010, the Webster Correctional Institution was closed in response to a request from the Governor to achieve efficiencies given the state of the economy. The closure will result in an annual savings of some $3.4-million. Two of the four housing units had previously been closed, as a result of a decrease in the overall incarcerated population. The 200 inmates in the remaining two housing units were dispersed to other level two and level three facilities. The agency worked with the staff and their unions to reassign them to other correctional facilities. The building was placed in mothball status and is ready for reuse should the need arise.
One of the tools utilized to manage inmate population is the Department’s Re-Entry Model. The Department has consistently increased the number of offenders who have been placed in the community under supervision in furtherance of the agency's Re-Entry Model consistent with public safety. The Department is committed to utilizing this mechanism to support appropriate offenders in their return to law-abiding society by providing a period of supervision in the community prior to the end of their sentence. The release of offenders’ statistics has remained stable from the previous year with 14,039 offenders released during the year.
The Division tracks and reviews statistical information compiled from the facilities through the Statistical Tracking Analysis Report (STAR Report) to determine any discernable patterns that may impact facilities. In FY 2010, the inmate-on-staff assaults were reduced by 18.29 percent, the inmate fights were reduced by 15.27 percent and inmate disciplinary infractions were reduced by 5.25 percent. Suicides were reduced by 50 percent.
A new staff-scheduling program is in the process of being implemented that will assist in scheduling staff and storing the information into a database that can specify by day and hour, the time taken by staff and/or overtime used. This new system will allow us to streamline our scheduling process, eliminate redundancy and generate a more accurate as well as detailed report requiring less manual input by the scheduling lieutenants, payroll department and operations staff.
The Security Division has the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of the Department. The Division is comprised of the Investigations, Security Risk Group, Special Intelligence, Telephone Monitoring and Computer Forensics Units. The Investigations Unit has the primary responsibility of conducting internal investigations at the direction of the commissioner as well as joint investigations with federal, state and local authorities. The Unit also conducts security audits and oversees the disposal of contraband collected in the facilities. Members of the Security Risk Group and Telephone Monitoring Units work collaboratively to acquire, analyze and disseminate pertinent security information throughout the agency and the law enforcement community. Through targeted and random monitoring of non-privileged communication, criminal activity, both internally and externally, is reduced and in some cases prevented. The Special Intelligence Unit provides an intelligence gathering conduit for the exchange of intelligence information related to criminal and terrorist activity with federal, state, local and judicial agencies. The Unit is also responsible for the forensic examination of computer and digital media devices in support of investigation to recover, analyze and document evidence.
In FY 2010, the Division conducted more than 198 formal investigations and collaborated with outside law enforcement in numerous criminal investigations. This Division is working closely with the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, with staff being assigned to criminal intelligence task forces and assisting with “Cold Case” files.
The Special Intelligence Unit, Security Risk Group Intelligence Unit and Telephone Monitoring Unit work closely together in the gathering of gang intelligence information. Significant improvements were made to streamline the collection by analyzing and disseminating this criminal intelligence information. The Security Risk Group Intelligence Unit provided training not only for staff in gang identifier recognition, latest trends and management techniques, but also to over 25 different community, federal, state, local and military groups.
Telephone Monitoring Unit staff participated in over 485 criminal investigations involving other law enforcement entities.
Programs and Treatment Division
The Programs and Treatment Division supports the agency’s mission through provision of a wide range of services structured to prepare offenders for successful community transition from the first day of sentence. The Division oversees administration of health and addiction services, offender program development, educational, vocational, recreational and religious programs, management of the inmate population and classifications functions, offender reentry services, Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut (CEC) and management of the Department’s volunteer and victim services agencies, community providers and volunteers to develop comprehensive wrap-around services and afford offenders opportunities for positive change to facilitate successful transition into the community.
Services administered focus on reentry success and recidivism prevention through offender responsibility. The Division is responsible for the Offender Management Plan (OMP), a highly structured map that ensures each offender receives appropriate supervision, opportunities for self improvement, and ultimately the ability to become a responsible and productive member of law abiding society. Additionally, the Division oversees the assessment of offenders to determine appropriate programmatic goals and behavioral expectations, which are used to develop the Offender Accountability Plan.
The Offender Classification and Population Management (OCPM) Unit assesses, classifies and assigns inmate risk levels, and develops offender accountability plans to address identified needs. Offender Programs and Victim Services (OPVS) researches, develops and maintains research-based programs and tracking systems to evaluate program effectiveness. Health Services partners with Correctional Managed Health Care to offer extensive medical and mental health services throughout the Department. Certified Addiction Counselors promote recovery through delivery of substance abuse treatment to offenders. Unified School District #1 provides both mainstream and special education, offering GED attainment, English as a Second Language and technical and vocational trade certification. Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut (CEC) trains offenders in occupational skills and offers the opportunity to gain actual work experience in the production of goods and services for state, municipal and nonprofit organizations. Chaplains offer forums for inmates to practice their beliefs in a wide range of worship services and religious studies. Division staff works closely with the community, providing support and information to victims of crimes and working with volunteers, who augment program delivery, supplementing education, treatment and religious services. The Offender Reentry Services Unit coordinates the provision of transition services with criminal justice agencies and community service providers to ensure continuity of care following release.
In FY 2010, approximately 71,000 population transfers were approved by the OCPM Unit. OCPM staff managed interstate transfer agreements with 31 states and all felony and sex offender DNA collection and registry requirements for the Department. Unit staff assisted in the agency partnership with the judicial branch to gain access to reports through the judicial electronic bridge (JEB).
Offender Reentry Services Unit staff members develop partnerships and services to work toward goals outlined in “Partners in Progress”, the State of Connecticut Reentry Strategy, which was updated in May 2010.
The OPVS Unit designs, implements and evaluates evidence-based programs to ensure offender accountability, offering opportunities to lessen the likelihood of recidivism and thereby increase the safety of the public. With a $540,000 grant, the Division participated in the Bridgeport Reentry Initiative, a collaborative between the Department and other criminal justice and community based agencies in promoting reentry, employment, and self-sufficiency for offenders returning to the City of Bridgeport.
The Health and Addiction Services Unit received national recognition for the Hospice, Bereavement and Palliative Care program as well as for the integrated model of parole supervision for mental health offenders. Two staff members received recognition with the Brain Injury Association of Connecticut’s 2009 Education and Prevention Award. All Addiction Services counselors and supervisors are state certified and/or licensed to provide services.
The Education Unit’s Unified School District #1 awarded 642 GED diplomas, 15 with honors, and 1,954 certificates of vocational training, in addition to providing services that include classes from Adult Basic Education to opportunities for college credit, reentry planning and job fairs.
Religious Services Unit chaplains provided approximately 77,532 hours of ministry time to the inmate population, offering 21,454 worship services, study sessions and other spiritual programs, with attendance totals of more than 339,000.
Volunteer Services added 1,263 new Volunteers, Interns and Professional Partners (VIPs) to a cadre of 1,810, contributing 130,320 hours of service, with an in-kind value of $2,638,980 and equivalent to sixty-three full time staff positions.
CEC offers offenders opportunities for valuable work experience while producing and marketing items for state and nonprofit institutions. A partnership with the Department of Transportation created a 46 percent increase in shipments and additional gross sales of nearly $60,000.00. The bar coding of Department of Motor Vehicle license plates, which began in September 2008 and required an initial investment of approximately $17,000, has realized payback on investment in less than two years. A project for the Town of Newington resulted in shipments of over $250,000 in products, which included classroom wall units, cabinets, tables, countertops and door lamination from the wood shop.
External Affairs Division
The External Affairs Division continued to emphasize a transparent, timely and collaborative relationship between the agency, the public, local and state government. This Division oversees the Department’s liaison functions with the other components of state government as well as with the public and the news media. Most significant among the Division’s accomplishments this year was achieving passage of a new state statute that prohibits inmates from utilizing the state’s Freedom of Information statutes as a means of harassing and intimidating correctional staff. Many of the Division’s efforts this past year in support of this guiding principal involved technological upgrades to what in many cases had always been paper based procedures. Both the agency’s historical Administrative Directives, which filled more than one filing cabinet as well as the Governor’s Correspondence function of the Division, have now been fully computerized, resulting in an accessible and searchable data base in both cases. The agency’s website, in association with the MIS Unit was fully revised this past year, with an emphasis on making it a user friendly, one stop information kiosk, particularly for family and friends of the inmate population. A consolidated section with details on telephone calls, inmate accounts, visiting etc. was developed to make assisting this section of the public easier and more thorough than before. Cancellations of facility visits are now posted on the website providing advanced notice before a trip to an institution is undertaken. The agency’s annual report was also published strictly online this past year, reducing costs and conserving paper.
The Division partnered with MIS, and carried out extensive changes to the Department’s Intranet site, DOCWEB. A revised Reentry Services section was created providing staff that doesn’t have Internet access within correctional facilities with the latest in offender reintegration information. This initiative will continue as the Intranet site is becoming the agency’s electronic bulletin board.
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
The Office of Public Information insures that information concerning departmental incidents, activities and the inmate population are provided to the public and media in a timely, proactive and professional manner, within the bounds of safety and security.
The Office of Public Information continued to aggressively market the positive and proactive work of the Department over the course of the past fiscal year while also dealing with issues involving the agency in a forthright and timely manner. Stories placed with the media include the growing of gardens at correctional facilities to provide a cost-effective supplement to the inmate diet, a college program at the Cheshire Correctional Institution supported by Wesleyan University as well as the unique usage of a pair of goats in grounds keeping at one facility.
As was the case with the Division as a whole, migration to improved technology was a major undertaking this year. One example is the transition from utilizing a time consuming fax machine format for media releases to a one button, comprehensive, e-mail list serve of the state’s media. This provides quicker and more efficient dissemination of information, which would be crucial in an emergency situation.
In keeping with the state’s efforts to attract motion picture production to the state, the office has acted as a liaison with the State Film Office to assist location scouts with information and tours of correctional property which might fit their needs. During the is year, scenes for a BBC movie, staring Academy Award winning actress Tilda Swinton were filmed at the moth balled Webster Correctional Institution.
The Office also acted as the agency’s liaison with the United States Census. A centralized response to the dicentenary census was provided by the Office, in association with the MIS unit, negating a complicated alternative that would have necessitated extensive involvement by all 17 correctional institutions.
The Office continued to assist in arranging the televising of parole hearings at the agency’s facilities by the Connecticut Television Network as part of its efforts to contribute to the transparency of the correctional system. This has provided the public an opportunity to view and understand the parole process and has contributed to public confidence in light of the Cheshire tragedy. The Office has also expanded its facility open house tours by including members of the Judicial Branch as well as local and state government officials.
The Office has also continued to act as the agency’s liaison to the Melanie Rieger Conference Against Violence. The Department again supported this preeminent victims’ conference by utilizing asset forfeiture seizure monies to provide printed materials and tote bags.
OFFICE OF STANDARDS AND POLICY
The Office of Standards and Policy is assigned the responsibility of drafting, revising and rescinding Department policy. On a continual basis, each policy is reviewed and revised, as needed, to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements as well as with the numerous standards established by the American Correctional Association. The Office also responds to public inquiry received through the Department’s website and provides responses to correspondence regarding correctional matters that have been sent to the Office of the Governor.
During Fiscal Year 2010, the Office updated 18 Administrative Directives to include: 2.13, Employee Work Attire, Personal Appearance and Identification; 6.12, Sexual Assault Prevention Policy; 8.14, Suicide Prevention and Intervention; and 9.8, Furloughs. Two new directives were created: 4.9, Management of Technological Projects; and 11.5, Time Out Program.
Over the past fiscal year, the Office assisted the Parole and Community Services Division with the development and implementation of a field operations manual in order to streamline and standardize the day-to-day operations of the Division, to date 39 of the 44, (89 percent) Divisional policies have been completed.
The Office oversaw the Governor’s Correspondence function of the Division. This insures that letters directed to the Governor’s office by the inmate population and the public receive a timely and comprehensive response that is consistent with prior information that may have been provided by the agency. On average 20 to 25 letters are handled in this manner each month.
AUDIO/VIDEO PRODUCTION UNIT
The Audio/Video Production Unit, through the application of modern multimedia production techniques, is responsible for the creation of educational aids that are utilized to enhance the extensive pre-service and in-service training that all staff is provided on an annual basis. Unit staff also supports the Maloney Center for Training and Organizational Development in its mission of staff training, as well as for special departmental events such as graduations, conferences and the annual award ceremony. The unit also regularly works with the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, providing technical support for the defense of lawsuits brought against the Department. Support is also provided in the areas of news and public affairs.
The agency’s Audio/Video Production Unit was heavily involved this year in the production of the Department’s Learning Management System (LMS). The unit produced voice-overs for the training modules and conducted the video and audio editing to create the self contained sessions.
The Audio/Video Production Unit also provides photographic support related to all departmental publications, and for the Department’s website. Additionally, the Unit produces and distributes materials that benefit the inmate population including such video productions as both male and female versions of “How to do Your Bid,” as well as the 15-segment Transitional Services Program. These and other video productions are utilized to support the successful reintegration of offenders into the community. A partial list of the Audio/Video Production Unit’s accomplishments for the past year include:
· the production and duplication of DVDs chronicling the multitude of educational programs, like Sisters Standing Strong and the Playwriting Group, staff oversees in facilities such as York Correctional Institution and Garner Correctional Institution
· the recording and editing of 13 voice-overs currently used in the interactive, on-line training available through the Learning Management System
· the archiving, cataloguing and editing of more than 5,714 digital images currently used for training and recruitment
· the archiving and digital transfer of over 600 still photos chronicling the Department’s history
· the duplication and cataloguing of the more than 520 DVDs and videocassettes currently used in pre-service and in-service training
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION OFFICE
The Freedom of Information Unit insures the Department fully complies with state statutes requiring the open availability of public documents to the public, staff and the inmate population, while insuring that safety and security are not compromised. The Department’s Freedom of Information Office handles on an average of 795 requests a year. This represents an increase of three percent from the prior fiscal year.
During the fiscal year there were 54 Freedom of Information appeals, a 20 percent increase from the prior fiscal year and an increase of 184 percent from FY 2008. Of the Freedom of Information appeals, 90 percent were from the inmate population.
During this fiscal year there continued to be an increase in inmate Freedom of Information requests to other state agencies and municipalities as reflected in the number of notifications received by the Commissioner’s office.
LEGISLATIVE LIAISON UNIT
A Legislative Liaison, responsible for drafting legislation and state regulations, works closely with the General Assembly on issues related to the criminal justice system and corrections.
The agency’s Legislative Liaison submitted to the Judiciary Committee eight proposals that would have: (1) prohibited disclosure of employee files to inmates; (2) prohibited the possession of an electronic wireless communication device by an inmate; (3) made technical changes to and clarified provisions concerning inmate discharge savings accounts; (4) increased the penalty for assaulting a DOC employee with bodily fluids; (5) allowed a student who committed an expellable offense who has been in the custody of the DOC to reenroll in school upon discharge and not be expelled for that offender; (6), allowed the DOC to disclose to the parent or legal guardian of a youthful offender information about the youthful offender being in the custody of the DOC; (7) exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act any records that present a safety and security risk; and, (8) allowed an inmate to stay in a correctional facility beyond the inmate’s discharge date. The committee raised eight of the DOC’s concepts and consolidated them into one bill, Senate Bill 457, An Act Concerning the Department of Correction. The Committee held a public hearing on the bill on March 17. The bill died on the Senate Calendar.
Both the Judiciary and Government Administration and Elections Committees raised the Department’s concept that addressed inmate requests under the Freedom of Information Act for employee personnel and similar files. The Judiciary Committee Bill, Senate Bill 221, An Act Prohibiting the Disclosure of Employee Files to Inmates, passed the Senate but died on the House Calendar. Its counterpart in the House, House Bill 5404, AAC the Nondisclosure of Certain Information Regarding Certain Employees to Inmates under the Freedom of Information Act, unanimously passed both the House and Senate. Public Act 10-58 took effect upon the Governor’s signing of the act on May 26, 2010.
The Liaison tracked and monitored 120 bills of interest to the agency during the regular and special sessions of the legislature and received and responded to 413 inquiries from elected officials and members of the public. Sixty (60) legislators and other state and local officials participated in the annual tours of the correctional facilities.
Parole and Community Services Division
The Parole and Community Services Division is responsible for supervising and providing support services to all offenders released to the community, whether to halfway houses, Transition Supervision or to parole or special parole. The Division is comprised of five district offices in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich and Waterbury and has specialized parole units: Residential Services, Central Intake, Special Management, Mental Health and Fugitive Investigation. Parole officers in each district and unit monitor offenders’ adherence to release condition and assist with their reintegration into their communities while enhancing offender accountability and public safety.
In FY 2010, the number of persons released to parole (including special parole) rose to 3,164 up from 2,538 the previous year, a 25 percent increase. The number of persons released to transitional supervision was 3,292 compared to 3,924 the previous year, a 16 percent decrease. The decrease is attributed in part to the implementation of a re-entry furlough program and a change in practice whereby transitional supervision (TS)-eligible inmates without sponsors who would have been approved for and released onto transitional supervision are now approved for and released on community release status to halfway houses. Overall, releases to all forms of community supervision, including residential placement, increased to 9,757 in FY 2010 from 8,872 the previous year, a ten percent increase. During the same period, the total violation rate for persons on community supervision decreased by one percent. The number of offenders on all forms of community supervision increased in FY 2010, from 4,540 on July 1, 2009 to 4,692 on July 1, 2010, a three percent increase.
Managers from all the specialized units held informational sessions at facilities statewide to increase communication and answer parole-specific questions. These presentations further opened the lines of communication between the facilities and the Division. The Incremental Sanctions Policy was created in conjunction with the BOPP and created a solid guideline for consistently managing offender noncompliance. A new process called Coordinated Community Release (CCR) was created via MOU whereby offenders who are voted to parole with a residential stipulation and meet the criteria for standard community release are automatically reviewed and approved with a streamlined application. On a quarterly basis, division-wide training is held jointly with the BOPP which provides opportunities for guest speakers from other agencies or within the Department to conduct training sessions and presentations on topics relevant to parole.
In compliance with Public Act 08-01, the Department and the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD) jointly developed a 24-bed residential facility for the housing and treatment of sexual offenders. The facility will be sited on the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution, and The Connection, Inc. was awarded the contract to provide treatment services as the result of an RFP process.
The total number of cases assigned to the Fugitive Investigation Unit for investigations is just over 200 at any given time. As members of the US Violent Felony Fugitive Task Force, team members participated in and assisted in the arrest of 104 subjects wanted by both state and federal authorities on various charges including homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, firearms, assault and immigration violations. During the year, the team apprehended 116 parole absconders and 61 TS escapees for a total of 177 fugitives. During the Unit’s warrant service operations, three firearms, ammunition, over 4,000 bags of heroin, five ounces of cocaine, 37 marijuana plants and sufficient amounts of other narcotics, paraphernalia and in excess of $5,000 dollars in cash were seized. Most recently, the unit has established a new partnership with the Connecticut State Police resulting in the assignment of a trooper and a sergeant to the Unit.
In FY 09/10, the Central Intake Unit established release teams in all five district offices. The release teams have been instrumental in improving both the efficiency of pre-release investigation procedures and accountability regarding the status of pending cases as well as the communication and sharing of information between the Division and facilities statewide. A total of almost 4,400 new transitional supervision and re-entry furlough cases were processed during the year. During FY 2010, the Unit became responsible for processing the releases of offenders to re-entry furloughs.
The model of the Mental Health Unit continues to be unique with the Department’s forensic psychiatrist and the BOPP’s psychologist actively involved with treatment plans, pre-release consultations and case conferences during supervision. The Unit is gaining national recognition for this collaborative model as the Unit has been selected to present a workshop titled “Breaking Down Barriers: Connecticut's Collaborative Re-Entry Model for Mentally Ill Offenders” at the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) 35th Annual Training Institute in Washington, DC on August 15-18, 2010. The Division’s Director has expanded the unit with the addition of a parole officer and the transfer of a 15-bed halfway house for high-need mentally ill offenders to the unit.
The Special Management Unit released over 240 sex offenders to parole supervision. While housing for sex offenders remained a constant challenge, no sex offenders were placed in shelters due to the remarkable efforts of the unit’s parole officers. In terms of outcomes, sexual recidivism rates remained at less than 1 percent. Unit officers conducted more than 350 monthly compliance checks on sexual offenders at their residential or employment addresses during operations with local law enforcement in varying jurisdictions throughout the state. Officers seized numerous computers and cell phones for forensic examination during compliance checks to monitor sex offender compliance with Internet and computer restrictions.
The Residential Unit conducted its largest re-bidding of new community contracts ever in FY 2009, known as the “Big Bang.” In FY 2010, the Division had the colossal task of implementing the new network of contracted residential and non-residential services. The Residential Unit in conjunction with the agency’s Contracts Unit held networking and informational session’s at all five district offices with Parole staff and all providers from each service area, to introduce them to the new network of services. The Residential Unit and the Contracts Unit have worked throughout the year with the community contractors to develop meaningful outcome measures for the new network of services. After identifying additional gaps in service, a new RFP went out for the addition of inpatient and alternative housing beds and the agency continue to assess needs on an ongoing basis. Family Re-unification passes and Re-entry Furlough are two new programs that have assisted in the transition of offenders by allowing them more access to their families prior to ending their supervision.
Information Reported as Required by State Statute
Affirmative Action Unit
The Affirmative Action Unit ensures that the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity are integral parts of the employment and advancement process.
The Unit prepared and submitted the Department’s Affirmative Action Plan, which was approved by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in March 2010. The plan reinforces the Department’s commitment to diversification with equal opportunity for all. At the end of the fiscal year, the number of people of color in the workforce was 2,044 (33.3% of the total workforce of 6,138). The total number of female staff was 1,597 (26.0% of the total workforce of 6,138). The Department instituted a new recruitment outreach program aimed at increasing the workforce diversity within the agency.
The Unit has continued its emphasis on training agency staff in the areas of Affirmative Action (including Sexual Harassment and Discrimination) and Workplace Diversity. This training is provided to new employees and current employees. Workplace Diversity training provided during the year focused on increasing employee awareness of micro-inequities at work. That is the small messages of prejudice that are sometimes sent from one person to another, often without knowing it.
The Department has continued its overall Diversity Initiative that includes the development of Diversity Councils at each facility. The Diversity Councils provide line staff with the opportunity to understand, value, appreciate and respect staff diversity. They are also intended to foster open communication in addressing Department policies and procedures which bear upon diversity issues.