Connecticut will open a specialized prison for 18-to-25-year-olds in a bid to reduce recidivism rates among the age group, state officials said Thursday.
The prison for young adults would be the first of its kind in the country, state corrections commissioner Scott Semple told The Associated Press. He said the idea for the prison came from a tour of corrections institutions in Germany, where offenders under 21 are treated as minors and receive specialized services.
Corrections officials at the prison would receive training for how to deal with younger people, and the inmates would get specialized programming for their age that would be aimed at helping them avoid re-offending.
One of the current prisons in the state will be converted, and the new prison is expected to open by January 2017. Of the state's 15,807 prison population, there are about 3,092 inmates between 18 and 25, Semple said.
The plan to open a prison comes as corrections departments around the country are wrestling with the best ways to treat youth in adult prisons. New York City's Rikers Island jail announced it would open a special ward for 18-to-21-year-olds in September that would include therapy and classes, and other states also have young adult units.
Casey Tolan is a National News Reporter for Fusion based in New York City.