A state lawmaker toured Northern Correctional Institution in Somers on Thursday to find out whether safety concerns there have been addressed.
State Rep. Karen Jarmoc says she was contacted last October by some correctional officers who were concerned about metal lockers in cells after observing inmates taking apart the lockers and making weapons like knives and shanks out of the metal.
Jarmoc says she contacted the Department of Corrections about the staff concerns but nothing happened until March of this year when two inmates at Northern made knives out of their lockers and stabbed a third inmate several times.
Jarmoc says the DOC has now begun removing the metal lockers
"It did take a little bit longer than I had anticipated but already one third of the facility at Northern Correctional are now outfitted with these new vinyl fireproof bags which inmates will keep their belongings in. Not only is it safer but it's easier for staff. They can take that bag and go through those belongings more easily."
Jarmoc says later this year, the state's first correctional staff health and safety subcommittee will begin meeting to serve as another outlet for staff concerns within the state prison system.