CT Becoming First State With Prison For Inmates From 18 To 25


Connecticut plans a new initiative for inmates ages 18 to 25 that would dedicate one of its 18 prisons to men in that age group, and create a separate program for women in that age range in a women’s prison, reports the Hartford Courant. The concept is based on research showing that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, said Michael Lawlor, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s chief criminal-justice adviser. “What we know to be true is that age 25, regardless of gender, is an important milestone in youth brain development,” Lawlor said. “If you get it right, they’re much less likely to re-offend down the road. If you get it right, you get really good outcomes.”

Of a state prison population of 15,807, there are 3,092 inmates 18 to 25, the Department of Correction said. Of those, 635 are 25 years old. As in the rest of the nation, crime has been dropping steadily in Connecticut in recent years. The steepest drop in the state is among young criminals, Lawlor said. “The 18-to-21 group has dropped by 52 percent in the last six years,” he said. Connecticut would become one of the first states to have a facility that exclusively houses and deals with inmates in this age group. Research also shows that some older prisoners do not change their ways. “People understand the concept that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Lawlor said. “You’ve got more to work with with a younger mind. If you’re amenable to treatment, let’s match you up.” He added, “Having a 21-year-old kid hanging around with a career criminal, bank robber and murderer probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

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