Sen. Kissel Calls for Investigation at Northern

July 29, 2009

Following inmate death at Northern, Sen. Kissel calls for DOC investigation

State Senator John A. Kissel today is calling for a full investigation into the apparent escalating violence at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut’s super max prison. Following news that yet another instance of violence occurred at Northern last night, resulting in an inmate death, Sen. Kissel called for a top to bottom investigation.

“Our super max facility is supposed to be the most secure prison in the state,” said Sen. Kissel. “But in just the past month alone they’ve had three serious instances of violence and now someone is dead. Something is not right here. If you can’t be safe in a prison with the highest level of security, something is wrong. There needs to be an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the safety plan at Northern.”

In a letter to acting Commissioner Brian Murphy, Sen. Kissel expressed the same concerns and asked the state Department of Correction to immediately begin an investigation. “Just last week an inmate was found dead from an apparent suicide,” said Sen. Kissel. “Why wasn’t he on suicide watch? And two weeks before that, four correctional officers were assaulted by an inmate. Back in June a CO was assaulted and needed medical attention.”

“Something needs to be done,” said Sen. Kissel. “The level of violence we are seeing right now at Northern appears unprecedented. I have not seen anything like this at any of the other five prisons in my district, yet Northern is supposed to have the highest level of security. I understand that the inmates at Northern are among the most dangerous and violent in the state, but that’s why they’re at a super max. No one should have to go to work in fear of being assaulted by an inmate and quite frankly, no inmate should have to be in fear of his life.”