Scott Semple

Recent Posts

A peek behind bars, and an invitation to reimagine prison

The main gate at Osborn C.I.

The correction commissioner picked up his plastic spork and dug into his first prison meal since his days as a warden. Up and down the row of fixed tables and stools, an economist, a banker, a teacher, a fire chief, a former city councilman, a church worker and others did the same, their introduction to how 1,400 men do time at Osborn Correctional Institution, a prison that opened 53 years ago. Continue Reading →

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From prison to freedom: ‘Our goal is to bat a thousand, but obviously that isn’t going to happen’

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Edwin Glass went to prison with the expectation he would serve 51 months of a 60-month sentence, the 85-percent standard for a violent crime. He ended up doing 56 months, or 93 percent. Does that make Connecticut tough or lenient? Continue Reading →

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Malloy: Reforms help shrink prison population to a 20-year low

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a prison population milestone outside a correctional facility in Hartford.

Connecticut’s prison population briefly fell below 15,000 inmates this month for the first time in nearly 20 years, a drop Gov. Dannel P. Malloy attributes to the bipartisan passage last year of lowering penalties for drug possession, a reform aimed at reducing incarceration without compromising public safety. Continue Reading →

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A new approach to prepping women to leave prison

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy listens to inmates Damaris Vega Torres in one of his prison visits. .

EAST LYME — Until three weeks ago, 90 percent of Amy Gully’s daily routine in York Correctional, the state’s only prison for women, was staying in a cell, marking days off a 30-month sentence for embezzlement and waiting her turn to make a phone call home. She told Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that her new routine is dawn-to-dusk activity aimed at preparing her to go home. Continue Reading →

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A governor, a commissioner and a new take on prison

Commissioner Scott Semple and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Dannel P. Malloy is a socially progressive Democratic governor trying to make prison a place for second chances. Scott Semple is a Republican who came of age as a correction official when the primary mission of U.S. prisons was to punish. Together, they are trying to remake criminal justice in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Malloy goes extra mile to thank, challenge these vets

From left, Robert Smith, Warden John Tarascio, Gov. Dannel P, Malloy, Commissioner Scott Semple, Adam Lincoln and Hiram McReynolds at the opening of a reintegration unit for veterans in November.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy thanked his audience of veterans for their service in the preservation of liberty. Malloy caught himself and said, “That sounds a little weird, talking about freedom in a facility like this.” Some of the men nodded. A few smiled. All were prison inmates. Continue Reading →

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Malloy: Raise the age for juvenile justice system to 20

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy speaking at the UConn law school Friday.

In a major policy speech Friday at a criminal-justice symposium, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed overhauling Connecticut’s bail system and making the state the first in the U.S. to treat defendants as juveniles up to age 20. Both proposals could significantly lower incarceration rates. Continue Reading →

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A Connecticut prison is rededicated to sending men home

Andrew Phillips

Serafettin Senel and Andrew Phillips are inmates at the Willard-Cybulski prison complex, one of Connecticut’s expensive monuments to the mistakes of men. Like 90 percent of everyone sentenced to prison, they eventually will go home. On Tuesday, they became symbols of a new effort to prepare them for that day. Continue Reading →

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Applause, and skepticism, for Malloy’s ‘second-chance society’

From left, Iran Nazario, Dennis Murphy, Mayor Pedro Segarra and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

James Rovella was a Hartford homicide cop in the early 1990s, when Iran Nazario ran with Los Solidos, a gang quick to defend its drug turf with drive-by shootings. Rovella left the streets for management, eventually becoming chief. Nazario went to prison. On Wednesday, they shared the same table, listening to a governor talk about second chances. Continue Reading →

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Feds, state clash: Does new state immigrant policy pose public safety risk?

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency blasted a new state policy on when Connecticut’s prisons will detain undocumented immigrants, saying it poses a risk to public safety and could release dangerous criminals into the community. The Malloy administration disagreed. Continue Reading →

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