Members of Montville’s Town Council joined state legislators in a meeting Tuesday with state Department of Correction Commissioner Leo Arone and the governor's chief of staff to talk about the sex-offender treatment facility proposed for the town.
Timothy Bannon, chief of staff for Gov. Danel Malloy, opened the meeting by warning participants that the topic of the location of the proposed facility in Montville would be off limits, since that matter is in court. The meeting, Bannon said, would focus on security issues relating to the facility.
Arone described the type of sexual offenders who would be housed in the facility, and said that they would pose little risk of escape.
“The people who are going to this program are three to six months away from going home, so the chances of them wanting to scale a fence, fight an officer, do whatever they have to do is so minimal for this group of people,” he said.
Arone’ s presentation focused on assuring the Montville delegation that the sex offenders would pose little risk to the community and that adequate physical and procedural security measures would be in place to assure the town of that outcome. He said that sex offenders would not have any contact with the community unless there was an immediate medical need and that when they were outside the facility in the community, they would be escorted at all times.
He went on to say that no one would be placed in Montville when they were discharged, unless they were from Montville to begin with.
"We are committed to ensuring that everybody that goes to that facility has a home to go to when they leave the custody of that facility. If that person is from Bridgeport, they’ll be sited back to Bridgeport.”
Physical components of security were also described by Arone. “There will be a fence around the facility. All doors will be alarmed. There will also be motion detectors in areas that are not in use. Everything will be monitored by cameras. The perimeter patrol will be armed."
Bannon offered to negotiate a memorandum of understanding among all the parties to this transaction.
When asked about the value of the meeting, Montville Mayor Joseph W. Jaskiewicz initially said, “This is exactly what they presented one year ago. It was the same presentation.”
But Jaskiewicz did note that the offer to create a written memorandum of understanding with the town was a new element brought to the table and would give the town a voice in the process.
Jaskiewicz said he still doesn't want the facility in town, but "the thing I got out of this mostly is that it's going to be there."
And if it is, he said, he is going to take the initiative to make sure the memorandum is written and signed.
“If we have to do something," he said, "the MOU is a way for us to go. We can put our efforts in and say this is how we want the facility to be handled and run.”