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Connecticut Launches Prison-Based Reentry Center as Part of Statewide Initiative

Governor Dannel P. Malloy

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy

As part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Second Chance Society reentry initiative, Connecticut has opened a new reentry center at one of its prisons to help people prepare for their return to the community. At the Cybulski Community Reintegration Center, men who are within 6 to 18 months of their release receive services to address a variety of issues, including employment, housing, parenting, and substance use. The reentry center was modeled after a successful program in Ohio.

In February, Gov. Malloy announced the Second Chance Society initiative, a plan for criminal justice reforms that includes more transitional services for people leaving prison and reduced penalties for nonviolent drug offenses. At a recent National Governors Association event, President Barack Obama highlighted Gov. Malloy’s plan as model reforms.

Connecticut was able to rededicate one of the buildings at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution as a centralized place for reentry services in part due to the decrease in the state’s prison population. In January, state officials reported that the prison population had reached its lowest point since 1999. Recidivism is also declining—last June, a Council of State Governments Justice Center report showed that Connecticut lowered its recidivism rate by 8.9 percent over three years, from 43.9 percent for 2007 releases to 40 percent for 2010 releases.

Currently serving 110 men after opening two months ago, the new reentry center program can eventually include up to 600 people. The state plans to launch a similar program at a women’s prison. In addition to these efforts, the Connecticut Department of Correction and Connecticut Judicial Branch have received Second Chance Act grants since 2010 to, respectively, enhance reentry services in New Haven and to support training for probation officers.

For more information, see the recent press on the reentry center and the Second Chance Society plan: