Ned Lamont

Stefanowski Highlights Staff Concerns at Cheshire Correctional Institute

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Connecticut correction officers say they want something to be done about the conditions inside Cheshire Correctional Institute

Republican candidate for governor Bob Stefanowski highlighted some of the concerns during a news conference Thursday morning.

issues happening at Connecticut's state prison for men on Thursday that he says have not been addressed by the state.

He said inside the prison there are only 6 showers per 100 inmates, multiple units without hot water, staffing issues forcing correction officers to work 16-hour shifts, and sweltering heat – with an unreliable air conditioning system.

State correction officer and President of AFSCME Local 387 Sean Howard detailed some of the problems he says they are dealing with inside Cheshire Correctional Institute.

"For the past five plus years, this problem has never been properly remedied so everyone suffers in a poor, unfavorable work environment, Howard said in an email to NBC Connecticut. "The AC works inadequately and negatively impacts the entire facility, including the staff and inmates. We all suffer in an unbearably hot environment and it is not fair to anyone."

One week ago, the governor implemented Connecticut’s Extreme Hot Weather Protocol to ensure cooling centers were open to the public. The state was seeing temperatures in the high 90s.

Stefanowski said they haven't had cool air within the building for months, and things have only gotten worse.

"They've been complaining about it for months. The air conditioning units are ancient. They keep putting band-aids on it and it keeps breaking down," Stefanowski said.

Stefanowski also said a homemade knife, also known as a shank, was found inside one of the prison cells.

NBC Connecticut asked Gov. Ned Lamont what he is doing to address the issues.

"They found it (the shank), so that says something about the incredibly good work our correctional officers are doing," Lamont said. "I know this went back some months now as well. Look, we've done everything we can to manage our correctional facilities."

We reached out to the governor's office again, along with the state Department of Correction, to see what protocols he has in place when it comes to extreme heat inside these facilities.

We're waiting to hear back.

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