Connecticut’s prison system has a colorful history that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Today, the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC) runs 18 correctional facilities and is headquartered in the town of Wethersfield. As of July 2018, the DOC has about 13,400 inmates in custody.
The roots of the Connecticut DOC start in the 1700s when colonial authorities converted an unprofitable copper mine into what was later called the Old Newgate Prison in East Granby. As the colonies declared independence and waged war on England, the tunnels of the mine were turned into a place to hold prisoners. There it remained the state prison until a new one was built in Wethersfield in 1827. That prison closed and was demolished after the DOC built a new complex in Somers in 1963.
Connecticut DOC Goals
The CT DOC is now the state’s largest agency. It says its strategic plan is to strive for efficiency and eliminate wasteful measures and spending. The agency aims to be a global leader in progressive correctional practices that works with the justice system to reduce crime and keep people out of prison. Today’s prison population of 13,400 is a significant drop from June 2016, when close to 17,000 prisoners were reported to be in custody.
Prisons in Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Corrections runs all 18 prisons in the state. That does not include the one federal prison in the state, located in Danbury. All state inmates are in DOC custody. There are no county jails.
Three of the DOC’s prisons are currently closed because of a 10-year low in the state’s prison population. Thirteen of the state’s jails hold adult male offenders, while one holds female offenders, and one holds teenage male offenders. Connecticut abolished the death penalty in 2011, but there are 11 male offenders still on death row who were sentenced before the ruling to abolish it.
3 Ways to Find an Inmate in the Connecticut DOC
The fact that there are no county jails in Connecticut makes it easy to find an inmate held there. earch Court Records
1. Department of Corrections Prisoner Locator
The Department of Corrections has a prisoner locator on its website called Offender Information Search. You can search by CT DOC number, first and last name, and date of birth. The Connecticut DOC says all inmates held are in its database and should come up starting with last name. A DOC number alone will produce a result.
- If you found the inmate on their website and are looking for more advanced information then proceed below.
- If you cannot find the inmate on their website we suggest you skip here to learn how to run an online background check.
2. Search Court Records
If you need additional information on an inmate then a court records search may help. In Connecticut, these are referred to as court files and include a court record of a plea, exhibit, order, or word for word testimony given during a trial.
The public has the right to access and view any court file not sealed by the court, or labeled as confidential. Files relating to juvenile offenders are often confidential.
Connecticut courts usually erase police, court, and prosecutor records after 20 days have passed since a defendant was cleared or acquitted. There can’t be an appeal filed in the case. Records of the case are erased in the incident of a pardon, or if the defendant’s offense has been decriminalized.
The state of Connecticut provides a search page to look up a criminal case through the website of the state judicial branch. You can search for the case by either name of the defendant in the case or docket number. A search can start by last name of the defendant, and will be enhanced if you know the birth date, year range of the incident, court location, and category type of the offense.
You can also search for a defendant by accessing records of pending court cases.
3. Obtain Connecticut Vital Records
Records of all vital records like birth, death, and marriage records are available through the state vital records office, or through the vital records office in all 169 towns in Connecticut. All towns are required to maintain a registry of all births, marriages, civil unions, deaths, and fetal deaths that occurred within the town’s limits. You can find the phone number and address for all town vital records offices on the state’s Department of Public Health website.
4. Find an Inmate in Connecticut Through a Public Records Search
Using an online public records search service like CheckThem can save you valuable time. CheckThem scans billions of public records of local, county, state and federal agencies in a matter of seconds. A background check will turn up arrest records, convictions, and any pending litigation related to the person you’re looking for.
How to Contact a Connecticut Inmate
Connecticut inmates are not allowed to take incoming calls. Inmates are allowed to contact people through these methods:
1. Phone Calls
All inmates held in a Connecticut prison are allowed to make outgoing, collect calls. Each offender can submit up to ten phone numbers they can call. All inmates are assigned to a counselor who approves the list of contacts a prisoner is allowed to reach by phone. The state reserves the right to monitor and record all phone calls. Prisoners are not allowed to take incoming calls.
The phone system for prisoner calls is run by the Securus Corporation. Anyone wanting to receive calls from an inmate is required to set up an account with the company. Securus charges a fee for each call, plus a rate per minute.
2. Snail Mail
All inmates in Connecticut are allowed to receive snail mail. They are allowed to send letters to anyone, except for victims of their crimes, other inmates, or inmates recently paroled. There is no limit to the number of letters they can send, though they must pay for their postage.
Prisoners are also allowed to receive money through a personal inmate trust fund.
Prisoners can receive books, magazines, and newspapers through the mail. These must come directly from a publisher, and not contain nudity, suggestive sexual material, or have any gang hand gestures or symbols in them. Prisoners can also receive 4″ by 6″ photos.