With the state’s prison population at a record high after Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s recent restrictions on parole, legislators futilely pressed Monday to learn how many more inmates can be safely confined.
Correction Commissioner Theresa Lantz suggested that the ultimate capacity of the prison system is unknowable, an answer that left some legislators slack-jawed.
Lantz described a prison system that is “fluid,” expanding and contracting to accommodate a changing population, despite existing in the finite realm of steel and concrete.
Yeah, she really said that.
Thankfully, legislators weren’t buying that.
This is going to be a real problem. The prison population has already increased by almost 600 inmates in a span of two months and they’re living on mattresses and beds laid out on gym floors and in large open spaces. This is in addition to the already crowded dorms.
I guess the only thing one can do at this point is hope that the legislature takes some action (like, maybe, enforcing a statute or recognizing the inherent separation of powers problem here) or some inmate files a lawsuit challenging either the conditions at a facility or the deprivation of his liberty interest in parole and pray that no one gets hurt in the meantime.