Connecticut prisons boost intelligence gathering

Connecticut Corrections Commissioner James Dzurenda

Paul Bass / New Haven Independent

Connecticut Correction Commissioner James Dzurenda

Connecticut’s top jailer has doubled his intelligence squad — and he’s just gotten started.

The squad is reviewing phone calls and collecting other information at each of the state’s corrections facilities. It is pumping that information to other squad members embedded with the FBI and with cops in New Haven and other cities pecking away at 280 “cold cases” as well as fresh shootings.

That word comes from James E. Dzurenda, whom the state Senate recently confirmed as Connecticut’s commissioner of correction.

Dzurenda popped in recently on a weekly data-sharing “Compstat” meeting at New Haven police headquarters, then spoke with the Independent afterwards, to affirm his commitment to using both new technology and beefed-up staffing to help law enforcement keep after gangs.

“If you have an offender that becomes incarcerated, they don’t automatically stop talking about what happens on the street,” remarked Dzurenda. “They want to know what’s happening on the street because it affects them in prisons.”

Dzurenda began running the correction department a year ago, prior to his eventual confirmation. In that time, he has doubled the intelligence staff, he said, up to about 30 full-timers. Each correction facility has one or two full-time intelligence officers on site, he said.

Read the New Haven Independent’s full report.

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