State officials say Connecticut's prison
population has again boomed to what it was three years ago when
overcrowding forced the state to ship some prisoners to Virginia.
The increase comes after three years of decline. Officials say
it's especially sharp among prisoners awaiting trial.
The prison population ballooned from about 17,700 in
2001 to more than 19,000 in 2003. The number of prisoners
crept up again this fall.
The state has had to house prisoners in gymnasiums at a few
Starting in October 1999, nearly 500 Connecticut inmates were
housed in Virginia to ease crowding.
The last of Connecticut's inmates housed at a Virginia prison
were returned to the state in late 2004.