For years before the pandemic, the state’s prison population had been on a steady decline. State data shows that in every year from 2016 to 2019, it decreased no more than 7% and no less than 3%.
In the year of the pandemic, however, it had a major decrease of 25%, going from a prison population of 12,284 to 9,111.
As the CT Mirror reported in 2021, the major decrease was in part due to two things. First, courts were shut down immediately following the pandemic, causing the sentenced prison population to decline. Second, some inmates received “discretionary releases" to state supervision before the end of their sentence.
Since that pandemic year, however, the total prison population has been slowly increasing. In 2021, it grew 3%, and in 2022 it grew 5%.
The increase in 2021 is mainly in part due to a 22% increase in the unsentenced population, while the total increase in 2022 can be attributed to a 13% increase in the sentenced population.