HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Dannel Malloy and officials from the Connecticut Department of Correction announced Monday the opening of a new unit at the Cheshire Correctional Institution that will only house offenders between the ages of 18 to 25. The goal is to keep young adults who have committed nonviolent crimes from starting a life of crime and returning to prison.
The program is called T.R.U.E. which stands for Truthfulness, Respectfulness, Understanding, and Elevating. The governor says the unit will provide young offenders access to developmentally appropriate programming to engage them as productive members of society.
“We know that the longer we keep young people out of the adult criminal justice system, the less likely they are to commit crimes and become incarcerated as adults,” Governor Malloy said. “All young people make mistakes – and for the vast majority of them, it will not result in an interaction with the criminal justice system, but for some it will. And for the young adults who are in custody, the decisions they make upon their release back into the community may impact the rest of their lives. Our prisons should not serve as crime schools for the young. Low-risk, young offenders should not be treated the same way as adult offenders. We need to set these youth on a better path toward a future that does not include criminality.”
Last month, the governor introduced a proposal to the general assembly to create a new category for young adults between the ages of 18 to 20 in the state’s juvenile justice system.