Connecticut Prison Assaults Have Union Calling for Prison Reform

A Connecticut corrections union’s leaders are lobbying for changes in the state’s policies related to dangerous prisoners after four officers were injured in a violent assault last week. The union believes the current policies are putting more officers at risk than ever before, and that change needs to happen before tragedy strikes once again.

The incident in question occurred on the 16th of November at Cheshire Correctional Institution. An inmate placed in solitary confinement with a history of violent assault obstructed his window. He was instructed by officers to remove the obstruction, but refused. When officers attempted to enter the cell, the inmate struck one, scratched another and injured two more before he was finally subdued. Afterwards, he was transferred to the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut and placed under higher supervision. The officers were taken to the emergency room and treated for their injuries, and they are expected to press charges against the inmate.

Rudy Demiraj, president of the union representing officers at Cheshire, said that incidents like this have increased since 2011 when the facility changed the way it handles inmates housed in its administrative section.

“The department and the Malloy administration have made changes on how Connecticut’s most dangerous and violent inmates are housed and managed,” Demiraj said. “These changes were made to appease outside interest groups and the inmate population, and are undoubtedly leading to more assaults on officers.”

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Two other assaults resulting in officer injury have occurred since last July, and Demiraj and the union are hopeful that the department will consider revisions on its policies for handling inmates in the hopes of preventing attacks in the future. Continued dialogue between the corrections union and Connecticut lawmakers will be crucial in the months to come as new policy is discussed and developed.

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