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Advocates want Middletown youth prison kept closed amid talks to reopen as a charter school

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By: Molly Ingram via WSHU Public Radio

Connecticut advocates want a former youth prison in Middletown to be demolished.

They say children at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, which closed in 2018, were subjected to neglect and abuse.

The state has considered repurposing the building multiple times. Most recently, Capital Preparatory submitted an application to the state Board of Education to open a charter school at the site.

They say they are no longer considering the location due to community opposition.

Kenyatta Muzzanni is the director of organizing at the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice.

“For the third year in a row, state officials have tried to reopen the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a closed youth prison,” Muzzanni said. “This time, the state Board of Education would have been happy putting poor, Black, and Brown young people in a former prison to receive an education. Enough is enough.”

Diana Martinez is a Middletown resident and a co-facilitator for the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition.

“We’re here to demand that the Department of Children and Families demolish this building so that it can never be used for children again,” Martinez said. “And we’re here to demand a real investment in real public schools and in public needs, instead of a diversion of public funds into a semi-private charter.”

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