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Gates Prison Closing

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Gates Prison (Photo Courtesy Department of Correction website)

Gates Prison (Photo Courtesy Department of Correction website)

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Another state prison is closing.

Correction Commissioner Leo Arnone announced Friday that the Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic will close as of June 1.

Arnone says the closing will save taxpayers more than $12.3-million a year.

The facility will be mothballed, although inmates will still be brought there from York, or other facilities to operate a rehabilitation program for abused horses, according to Correction Department spokesperson Brian Garnett.

The prison population is 17,650 down from its peak of 19,894 in 2008, according to the Correction Department.

The governor’s administration is in talks with state employees, including correction officers.  The governor is seeking wage and benefit give-backs from the workers.

When the last governor sought similar concessions, correction officers refused.

A recent CT News Junkie article said members of a correction officers’ union are balking at Governor Dan Malloy’s current demands.

The minimum security prison has been open thirty years and has a staff of 270.

The 700 prisoners now housed at Gates will be transferred to other state prisons, and the staff will be reassigned.

Gates is the second prison to close recently.  Arnone says the closing of the Webster Correctional Institution in Cheshire in January of 2010 saved the sate $1.4 million a year.

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