Although Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is counting on a continuing decline in the state’s prison population–having closed two institutions in the past four months, laid off 21 front-line correction supervisors, and planning to close another facility soon–one group of inmates is bucking the trend. Numbers of accused but unsentenced inmates have risen each of the past three months, climbing almost 8 percent since May and reaching 3,632 in August, reports the Connecticut Mirror.
Former state Rep. Michael Lawlor, who heads the state criminal justice planning and policy division, attributed the surge to a seasonal trend. While Lawlor acknowledged this is one of the most volatile components of the inmate population, the rising unsentenced number hasn’t prevented overall prisoner levels from declining from last year’s totals. State corrections department spokesman Brian Garnett attributed the rise to “increased police activity, to increased criminal activity” during the summer. The Correction Department has a $695.2 million budget for this fiscal year, virtually unchanged from the $693.4 million the agency spent in 2010-11. The August inmate population of 17,666 fell 144 inmates, or 0.8 percent, below the forecast issued by the criminal justice division last February. That projection also calls for inmate levels to reach 17,375 by January.