Kissel Meets with DOC Commissioner About Northern CI

November 16, 2009

Attends meeting to discuss efforts to enhance safety at Northern

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) today met with Department of Correction (DOC) Acting Commissioner Brian Murphy at DOC headquarters in Wethersfield with other legislators to discuss initiatives being made at Northern Correctional Institution (Northern) to enhance order and safety. Also in attendance from the DOC were Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Strange, District Administrator Michael Lajoie and Northern Warden Angel Quiros.

Senator Kissel sent a letter to Acting Commissioner Murphy on July 29, 2009, requesting an investigation into increasing violence at Northern. The results of the investigating committee’s findings have netted some very positive results.

“I felt that this meeting was very productive,” said Sen. Kissel. “Cleary they are headed in a good direction with the changes they have made and I am looking forward to seeing the results of their hard work.”

The administration noted that they have been taking extra measures to once again make Northern a place where inmates do not want to stay. The intention of the super max facility is to temporarily house the most dangerous criminals and eventually send them back to the general population. To reach this goal, DOC has adopted stricter policies in allowing inmates access to recreation and their personal property to name a few. While the changes are subtle, there has been unanimous agreement by on the ground correctional officers and the administration that the changes being made are having a positive effect on inmate behavior.

In addition to changing behavior policies, disruptive inmates with mental health problems are being sent to institutions more able to deal with those types of inmates.

“Not only do I think these changes will have long term beneficial results for Northern, but I can see a trickling down effect already taking place. Inmates in other facilities do not want to go to Northern because it is so restrictive and have a greater incentive to conduct themselves appropriately within the general prison population. I also truly believe the public will be pleased with the efforts DOC is making to crack down on inmate violence and I think they are on the right track. The acting Commissioner has taken a tremendous lead on this issue and Warden Quiros, Deputy Commissioner Strange and D.A. Lajoie have also been valuable parts of this process,” concluded Sen. Kissel.