HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Connecticut’s prison population has dropped below 15,000 for the first time since 1997.
Speaking outside of the Hartford Correctional Center on Friday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said Connecticut’s prison population has dropped by nearly 25 percent since reaching a high of 19,893 inmates in 2008.
Malloy credited dropping crime rates and the criminal justice reforms championed by his administration, which among other items, reduced the penalties for drug possession from a felony with a seven-year minimum sentence to a misdemeanor with a maximum one year in jail.
“Connecticut is part of a nationwide trend in states both blue and red, with bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats alike, to end the era of permanent punishment and focus on permanent reform, and these efforts are making our state a safer place,” said Malloy.
Recent statistics show that crime in Connecticut is at a 50-year low, with violent crime in Connecticut dropping an estimated 7 percent in 2015. This is on top of the 9.7 percent decrease in 2014.
With the dropping prison population, the state has been able to close three full correctional facilities and units in three other facilities.