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Connecticut 'Supermax' Prison To Close In July

Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut.
Photo courtesy Connecticut State Department Of Correction
Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut.

The state of Connecticut says it will close a controversial Supermax prison in July.

Northern Correctional Institution has been criticized for its use of solitary confinement, including by a U.N. torture expert. The prison served as an isolation unit for inmates with COVID-19 from March to September of last year.

Criminal justice advocates have called for Northern’s closure for years. David McGuire is the director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

“The state seems to be reaching the conclusion that many people got to decades ago, which is that Northern has no place in our society, and that it’s a monument to cruelty, and has to close,” McGuire said.

The prison has been the subject of multiple lawsuits in the past year, including an active lawsuit alleging treatment there constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for people with disabilities.

Northern houses about 65 inmates right now. Governor Ned Lamont says closing the prison will save about $12.6 million in operating costs.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.