NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Nearly 1,000 Connecticut inmates have illegally left halfway houses early since 2009, but state officials are defending the early release program.
WTNH-TV reports (http://bit.ly/Nt1Qr0 ) that 8 percent of prisoners who walked away from halfway houses early during the past five years never returned and remain at large. Many inmates are released into halfway houses before their prison sentences are up, including some violent offenders.
The state does perform unannounced inspections at halfway houses, which are run by nonprofit companies. Last year, the state shut down three halfway houses after finding prisoners didn't have jobs as required and other problems.
Correction Department Commissioner James Dzurenda says halfway houses help reduce crime recidivism. He says it's nearly impossible to stop walkaways, but the inmates were within six months of release anyway.
Information from: WTNH-TV, http://www.wtnh.com
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