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Connecticut Juvenile Training School Closes

Ryan Caron King/WNPR
The entrance of CJTS in Middletown.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Friday that he’s not expecting the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, the state’s only juvenile prison, to ever be used again as a youth detention facility.

“We can reasonably predict that we will have less need for prisons in the future,” Malloy said, “So whether this prison, as badly built and designed as it was, will ever be used for something? I am not sure whether those cells will be. They were cells that were built, for instance, without toilets. Which, you know, made not sense at all.”

The Connecticut Juvenile Training School was opened in 2001 during the administration of former Republican Governor John Rowland. It cost $57 million dollars to build and millions more to maintain.

Malloy ordered the prison closed after a state investigation found that children were being illegally placed in solitary confinement as punishment.

At its peak it had a population of 300. It dropped to fewer than 40 just a few years ago and the last 3 children were transferred out this week.

The state has moved the children into the corrections department jails, homes, and to private therapeutic facilities.

Officials at the Department of Corrections tell the CT Mirror that they worry $7 million dollars in savings from closing Connecticut Juvenile Training School won’t go into their new juvenile programming because it is needed for the general fund.

Corrections officials say the $7 million dollars should go towards private facilities that offer therapy and other supportive services to kids who are in the system but also are recovering from trauma.  

The CT Mirrorreports that the state has already sent notice that it would be canceling contracts with some private facilities in anticipation of funding cuts.