Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday that his administration plans to close the Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville at the end of this year.
The prison, part of the two-building Corrigan-Radgowski complex, is the second of three closures that were planned as part of budget cuts for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The move is expected to save the state $7.3 million dollars, the governor's office said.
The state shuttered the maximum-security Northern Correctional Institution in June, a move that is expected to save about $11.75 million annually. The governor's office has not announced the name of the third facility it plans to close or when that will happen.
“Spending millions of dollars in annual operating costs on buildings that have historically low numbers of incarcerated individuals inside is just not a good use of resources,“ Lamont, a Democrat, said in a statement. ”By relocating them to other facilities that have available capacity, we can deliver on our administration’s goal of reducing the cost structure of state government.
The closures come during a steady decline in the inmate population, which has decreased by more than 3,200 individuals over the last 17 months. The state currently houses about 9,200 prisoners, down from the all-time high of 19,894 in February 2008.
The medium-security Radgowski prison opened in January, 1991. It was consolidated with the nearby Corrigan facility in May 2001, and the two buildings became known as the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. The Radgowski building currently has 108 prisoners, down from the all-time high of 734 in 2014.
Correction Department spokeswoman Karen Martucci said the Corrigan building will remain operational, leaving the state with 13 prisons.
Over the coming weeks, the remaining population from Radgowski will be transferred to other facilities within the state’s correctional system, she said.
The governor's office said it does not plan to lay off any of the prison's 110 employees, most of whom are correction officers. The department said it is working with its employee unions to re-locate those workers to other, nearby facilities.
The move to close it drew criticism from state House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora.
“Simply moving employees from one prison facility to another isn’t a point to celebrate, and it should instead trigger a broader conversation about the governor negotiating with unions to more accurately reflect on-the-ground staffing needs at our facilities,” he said in a statement.