Now: More Transparency And Accountability Within The CT Department Of Corrections

January 12, 2024

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Dear Beloved Neighbor,

I joined fellow State Representative Anne Hughes, Barbara Fair from Stop Solitary CT (SSCT), advocates, and family members at a press conference on Wednesday in calling for more transparency and accountability from the CT Department of Corrections that would provide families with the timely information regarding incarcerated individuals in a medical and mental health crisis that they deserve. 

Our concerns were also captured in the following articles.

Please read: "Prison Reform Activists Call for Greater Transparency, Oversight After Deaths in Custody" from CT Examiner

HERE and "CT advocates renew Call for transparency ahead of oversight hearing" from CT Mirror HERE.

Bottom line? We must work collectively to bring forth policies and practices that are implemented to close the information gap and diminish the mental, physical, spiritual, and financial burdens that currently exist for family members of incarcerated people.

I was at this press conference as a lawmaker and member of the judiciary committee, a concerned citizen, as the mother of a child who served time in the system, and as just someone who believes in equity and human dignity for all, especially the vulnerable and unheard individuals who have been entrusted to the care of the CT DOC.

I also stood in support of Taneisha Hill because the day of this press conference marked the ultimate anniversary of her brother, James, and the day he was pronounced dead.

Taneisha shared with us that James was incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker facility in Suffield, died of a brain aneurysm that DOC officials knew of, according to doctors, and failed to provide the proper treatment until it was too late. No one from the DOC called to inform Taneisha that anything was wrong. Instead, she received a call from the hospital telling her that James had been brought in "unresponsive" and was heading into emergency surgery. When she immediately reached out to CT DOC all they could ask her was how did she find out about her brother but couldn't give her any information on what had happened or was currently happening with James.

Sadly, Taneisha acquired the majority of her information from individuals on the inside.

After his death, she received a bill from the state charging her hundreds of thousands of dollars for his time in prison.

We support new approaches and potential legislation, including swifter, implementation of the PROTECT Act, which passed and was signed into law in 2022, ending routine strip searches and a transformative approach to prison reform. Specifically, we're calling for a particular focus on improving transparency, and accountability while addressing staffing needs as well.

We must ensure the necessary investments are made to fortify our correctional system and safeguard the rights and safety of those entrusted to its care - and that includes everyone at the CT DOC - those in custody as well as those employed to protect and serve their vital human needs. 

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns at or 860-240-1371. 

In Dedicated and Loyal Service,

Robyn A. Porter


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