CCM calls on state to continue staffing New Haven and Hartford prisoner detention centers

CCM calls on state to continue staffing New Haven and Hartford prisoner detention centers

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, in a letter to Judge Patrick Carroll, has implored the state to continue to staff the prisoner detention centers in New Haven and Hartford after July 1.

An extension would provide the cities with needed time to develop and implement a permanent plan on the staffing of these facilities,

CCM officials said in a release Tuesday. As of June 30, the city of New Haven must take over running the lockup in the basement of police headquarters.

Police Chief Dean Esserman has said the department has been preparing to be as ready as it can for the change. Because of state budget cuts, judicial marshals will no longer be staffing the Hartford or New Haven detention facilities starting July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

In early June, New Haven and Hartford police announced they asked the state for an extension that would continue staffing the departments’ prisoner detention centers after July 1 in an attempt to buy more time and figure out staffing options. CCM, in its letter to Carroll released Tuesday, said the organization urges the state to support this request for an extension. The letter is signed by Joe Delong, executive director of CCM.

Here is the full text of the letter back to top

The full text of the letter says:

“CCM wishes to express its support for the request made by Hartford and New Haven for the State to continue to staff the prisoner detention centers located in those cities after July 1, 2016. An extension would provide the cities with needed time to develop and implement a permanent plan regarding the staffing of these facilities.

“CCM understands the budgetary circumstances that has led to the decision by your agency to eliminate the State staffing these facilities. In recent years, declining revenues and state aid have forced towns and cities to make similar cuts and staffing reductions.

"However, all parties must ensure that due diligence is observed for any transition plan to maintain the safety of these facilities, ensure that public safety is not compromised, as well as creating a process that is fiscally sound for all parties. It is in the interest of all parties – the state, municipalities, and CCM – that this matter be brought to a reasonable resolution.

"Maintaining a strong state-local partnership is essential to successfully addressing this issue, and the imposition of another costly and unfunded state mandate serves only to further erode the foundation of this critical partnership. An issue of this importance requires time and the willingness of all parties to work together to develop a solution that addresses the concerns that have been outlined.

“I have extensive experience in managing correctional facilities as the former Executive Director of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority, and understand the importance and complexity of this situation.

"On behalf of CCM, I would be willing to work with the State and the respected cities in working towards an amicable solution. In the interim, we implore the State to continue to staff these facilities until a viable and permanent solution is agreed upon by all parties.”