Sen. Kissel Tours Facilities at Northern CI

January 22, 2009

Participates in legislative tour at super-max facility
Sen. John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) yesterday toured the maximum security facilities at Northern Correctional Institute in Somers which houses Connecticut’s death row inmates and inmates who pose the greatest threat to the community, staff and other inmates. In addition to touring the facilities, Sen. Kissel met with Warden McGill, other prison administration, line officers and Department of Correction (DOC) officials.

“My tour at Northern yesterday confirmed my belief that the hard working men and women who work in our prison system deserve nothing but the highest praise” said Senator Kissel who serves as Ranking Senator on the Legislature’s Judiciary committee and as a member of the Connecticut Sentencing Task Force. “They have a very sophisticated and effective method for evaluating and housing these inmates who are among the most dangerous in the state and the order in the prison was remarkable. I toured Northern last spring as well and it is always impressive. Once again I walked death row with Warden McGill seeing the ten inmates there. Thinking about what those men have done to other human beings would give anyone pause and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the correctional officers who work day in and day out to keep the prison environment secured and the community safe.”

Northern CI was built in 1995 and became a maximum security facility in 1999. It is currently designated as the restrictive prison facility for DOC and houses the most serious offenders in the state. Most inmates are given the opportunity to return to lower security prisons through participation in certain programs and good behavior and are regularly evaluated according to certain criteria such as behavior, motivation and attitude.

Sen. Kissel stressed the importance of keeping an open line of communication with those who work in prison facilities. “It is so important to visit these facilities and meet with those who work on the front lines,” said Sen. Kissel. “We need to be proactive in giving our correctional officers the opportunity to share their ideas for improving prison conditions and safety.”