Garner Correctional Institution

The Garner Correctional Institution is a level four facility for male inmates with mental health issues, located in Newton, Connecticut. This institution incarcerates both pretrial and sentenced offenders. Through proven programmatic innovation and intervention, the Garner Correctional Institution provides positive alternatives for inmates to assist in their successful reintegration into the community as productive members of society.

Under the administration of then Commissioner Theresa C. Lantz, care and treatment for adult male offenders with significant mental health issues throughout the Department of Correction were consolidated at this level 4, high-security facility. 

Based upon their mental health needs, offenders from throughout the system, both pretrial and sentenced, are assigned here.  The facility's staff utilizes a highly progressive mental health treatment approach. 

Individualized treatment plans, based upon an offender's level of functionality, include extensive programming and therapy, in a group and one-on-one settings.  The staff at the facility, both custody and mental health, operate through an integrated team approach which ensures a continuity of custody, care, treatment, and control. 

The program is designed to return as many of these offenders as is possible to the ability to function in either a general population prison setting or ultimately to life in the community. 

The facility is named in honor of Ward A. Garner, who served as warden of the Connecticut State Prison in Wethersfield from 1911-1918.

The Garner Correctional Institution opened on November 17, 1992. This two-building facility is located on 118 acres. The main building encompasses 245,000 square feet and houses all inmates and support services and operations. A second building encompasses 15,100 square feet and is dedicated to maintenance operations.

Since 1992, the facility has been adapting to an ever-changing climate of the department by housing inmates in general population, close custody, and the Mental Health Unit as well as a cooperative effort to house Federal High Security inmates.

In 1993 a team of staff members at the Garner Correctional Institution developed and implemented the Close Custody Phase Program for the management of incarcerated gang members.

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Garner Correctional Institution

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at Garner Correctional Institution rotate on a monthly basis and are based on housing unit. 

Please call the facility to find out the Garner Visiting Schedule for the current month. You can also find the schedule online.

An inmate is normally allowed two social visits each week, Monday through Friday and one visit every other weekend. No more than one social visit per day shall be allowed for any inmate. 

Visits are one hour in duration. AP unit inmates shall normally be allowed 2 social visits each week, Monday thru Friday and 1 visit EVERY weekend. No more than one social visit per day shall be allowed for any inmate. 

Every 4th Wednesday of the month, morning visits are cancelled for Parole Hearings. 

Getting on the approved visiting list

Before you can visit, you must be placed on the inmate's approved visiting list. Upon incarceration, inmates are allowed to set up a visiting list.  Visiting forms will be sent by the inmate's counselor to those designated by the offender.  

It is up to the offender to notify a visitor that they have been added to the visiting list.

Once you receive your form, complete and sign the application and mail it back to the assigned counselor.  Because this process can take two to three weeks, wardens have the discretion to permit a courtesy visit, for up to two (2) adult visitors from the inmate's immediate family to visit with the inmate prior to the approval of the application. 

An adult is defined as an individual who is 18 years of age or older. Children must be accompanied by an adult on the approved visitor list and remain under the supervision of the adult visitor.

General Visiting Rules

Visitors are encouraged to contact the facility prior to visitation to confirm the visiting schedule and to insure that the inmate they plan to visit has not lost his or her visiting privileges.

You must present a current, photo identification at the correctional facility to be allowed to visit. All visitors under the age of 16 must provide a valid birth certificate and one additional document containing the child's name, i.e. report card, social security card, etc. 

Visitors who are exhibiting flu symptoms will not be permitted to visit with offenders.

Attire must be reasonably modest. Revealing, seductive, or offensive clothing may present a safety and/or security risk and may result in the visitor being denied access to the facility.

Please note that cell phones and electronic devices are not permitted.

Physical Address

Garner Correctional Institution
50 Nunnawauk Road
Newtown, CT 06470

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, ID Number
Garner Correctional Institution
PO Box 5500
Newtown, CT 06470

All correspondence that you send to an inmate must include the inmate's full name and their inmate number in addition to the institution's address..

Do not use padded mailing envelopes because they may present a security issue. 

You can only send books and magazines to an inmate if they are in new condition and are packaged and shipped by the book store, book club, or publisher from which they are purchased. 

The Connecticut Department of Correction does not allow family and friends to send in clothing packages for offenders.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at Garner Correctional Institution. However, they do have access to phones during daytime hours and can call you collect. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Connecticut, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to an inmate with a money order by using the postal service, or you can use a debit or credit card with JPAY, Touch Pay, or Western Union.

By U.S. Mail:

When sending a money order, you must include the Inmate Trust Fund Remitter Form and send it with the money order to: 

Inmate Trust Fund
P.O. Box 290800
Wethersfield, CT 06129-0800

Be sure to include the inmate's full name and correctional identification number on the money order. Do not include any correspondence to the inmate. Make sure that the money order and remitter form are legible.

You may also fund an inmate's account by using the following companies:

JPAY: One Click Payments with JPAY
Touch Pay:
Western Union: Electronic Deposits (PDF, 94KB)

For Western Union, please remember:

Pay To: Connecticut DOC
Code City: CTDOC
Account: 8-digit Inmate Number and Inmate Last Name.*

* If inmate number is less than 8 digits, add two zeros at the beginning, i.e., 00123456Johnson

If you have any questions, please call 860-692-7670.  Please allow at least 10 working days for money orders to be posted to an inmate's account.

​Programs For ​Inmates

Alcoholics Anonymous: A 12-step fellowship, self-help group that provides support in obtaining and maintaining sobriety while also helping inmates to recover from alcoholism. Meetings, in a variety of formats (Big Book, Step Meetings, Speaker, etc.), are held on a weekly basis. 

Anger Management: This 10-week program includes skill building, cognitive techniques, relaxation techniques and role play. 

Catholic Bible Study: An academic study of the books of the bible or biblical topics and themes. This program seeks to foster understanding of scripture and help inmates develop self-awareness and personal growth based on biblical principles.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This program teaches the offender to identify thoughts and how thoughts are tied to behavior. The Goals of CBT are to teach individuals appropriate coping skills, stress management techniques, affect regulation, and other management tools. 

Co-Occurring Disorders Program: This program provides treatment for inmates who have a psychiatric disorder in combination with a substance use disorder. Inmates attend both a twelve-week educational group focusing on mental health and substance abuse issues and a specially designed 12-step meeting. 

Coping Skills: This group is designed to help offenders to effectively deal with daily living issues and stressors while incarcerated.

Connecticut Offender Re-entry Program: This program provides services for offenders with mental illness returning to the community after an extended period of incarceration. The emphasis is on reducing recidivism by identifying and intervening in those areas most in need. 

Individuals eligible for the services must have at least one year left to serve before release, have a mental health score of 3 or higher, and are returning to a catchment area where CORP services are provided. Catchment areas include Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwich/New London, and Waterbury areas

Creative Writing: A volunteer writing instructor gives weekly writing assignments to students followed by sessions of critical reflection. 

Drawing: Offenders will learn how to draw, sketch, and shade through a volunteer instructor. This program is designed to teach inmates how to draw objects by sight by utilizing props. 

Dual Recovery Anonymous: Dual Recovery Anonymous is a 12-step, self-help program for individuals who are chemically dependent and affected by a psychiatric illness. The primary purpose of DRA is to help one another achieve dual recovery, prevent relapse, and to carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders. 

Embracing Fatherhood: This program is designed to assist incarcerated fathers in gaining awareness of the important role they play in the lives of their children. This awareness will enable participants to successfully embrace their roles as fathers and begin to build healthy lifestyles that will benefit both their children and them.

Emotional Regulation: This is a group to better help understand emotions and how emotions affect us in our everyday life, and how your everyday life can affect your emotions. The group will meet twice a week. 

Some important topics of exercises will consist of: introductions to emotions and feelings and the difference between the two; how to better maintain a positive emotional state; understanding emotional development; outward emotional development and relationships; understanding emotional abuse and its effects; using emotions as a reason for change; working with mental health issues and emotions; coping with unpleasant emotions; substance and alcohol abuse use and our emotions; controlling our emotions and responsible behaviors; communication skills and our emotions. 

Film Discussion Group: The purpose of this group is to provide a social environment for inmates to explore and discuss relevant topics and social issues as they apply to film. Participation in a question/answer discussion group following the conclusion of the film will also be encouraged.

Good Intentions Bad Choices: This program features a three part DVD series that focuses on Relapse and Recidivism Prevention for addicts and offenders, leaving treatment or an incarcerated setting re-entering society. 

This period of early reintegration is especially risky for addicts and offenders despite intentions of doing well and straightening out their lives because errors in thinking that are the result of years of an addictive and/or criminal lifestyle, and are not so easily or quickly resolved. 

Inmate Photo Program: Inmates register each month to take photos for a small fee and these photos are sent home or otherwise kept for personal use. Proceeds that are generated are held in a Special Activity Fund. From this fund, thousands of dollars have been donated to local charitable organizations each year, e.g. women's shelters, children's hospitals, youth organizations, and youth at risk programs.

There are also various educational programs available at Garner Correctional Institution. To view the complete list of programs available, click here.

Pictures of Garner Correctional Institution

Careers at Garner Correctional Institution

The Garner Correctional Institution is staffed by a variety of professionals including correction officers, clergy, maintenance, clerical, and counselors. To explore career options within the Department of Correction, click here.