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State Closing Enfield Prison, Moving More Than 300 Inmates To Cheshire Facility

July 11, 2011 by John Rook

Cheshire Correctional Institution will see an influx of more than 300 inmates in the near future as the state moves prisoners from an Enfield facility that has been tapped for closure.
The announcement came late last week that the Connecticut Department of Correction will be closing Enfield Correctional Institution in the next few months and will transfer more than 700 inmates currently at the facility to other prisons around the state. One of their destinations, according to reports, will be the unused portion of Cheshire CI, commonly referred to as the North Block, which has been closed for 15 years. The state plans to move 350 inmates to the facility once the Enfield prison is officially shut down.
For years, officials for the Department of Correction insisted that the North Block would only be used in an emergency circumstance, such as if a fire or a riot forced the transfer of prisoners. As recently as May, Brian Garnett, director of External Affairs for the Department of Correction, told The Cheshire Herald that the state had "no plans" of using the North Block, even though the state had been planning to close several prisons since the beginning of the year in the state in an effort to save money.
Now, however, those plans have changed, and it is unclear how the state's move will affect the Town.
Local officials have expressed concern in the past over the increased water usage a larger prison population would require. In May, Town Manager Michael Milone stated that he was monitoring the situation with the state and that there had been discussions of the state possibly picking up any extra costs associated with an increased prison population.
For more on this story, see an upcoming edition of The Cheshire Herald.

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