The state’s corrections commissioner says Connecticut prisons need to focus more on preparing inmates for their return to society – and less on punishment.
Commissioner Rollin Cook came to Connecticut after he ran the Utah prison system where he gained a reputation as a reformer. He wants to strengthen re-entry programs in Connecticut.
“For so many years, we’ve classified incarcerated individuals into certain categories, such as whether they are maximum, medium or minimum. We need to be doing things like what’s the next step? What are we going to be focused on while this person is with us for the next year. Are they going to be focused on their education, or are they going to be focused on rehabilitation?’’
Rollin spoke at a forum organized by the Commission on Equity and Opportunity, which supports legislation to discourage housing discrimination against former prisoners. Lawmakers say the law would help prisoner re-entry and reduce recidivism.