Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday that he would be reappointing Department of Corrections Commissioner Leo Arnone to continue serving as the head of that department.
Arnone has worked in corrections for 22 years in addition to 12 years in the Department of Children and Families and three years in the Judicial Branch, according to a prepared statement from Malloy’s office. He was appointed as commissioner last year by former Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
“Leo is well-liked by staff at the department and well-respected by members of his peer community,” Malloy said in a prepared statement. “He believes, as I do, that public safety comes first, but we also need to spend less and find ways to reduce recidivism in our inmate population. His ties to community-based providers and his special insight into early intervention and juvenile justice programs are also of particular interest to me as we find ways to reform our criminal justice system.”
And Arnone said that with is experience, he’s well equipped to reform the state’s correction system.
“I’m looking forward to working with Governor Malloy – a former prosecutor and someone who deeply believes in the reformation of our current system,” said Arnone. “With my career spanning two branches and as many departments, I have a broad understanding of the ways in which we can better address the needs of our criminal justice system.”
At least one union representing correctional officers seemed cautiously optimistic about Arnone’s appointment.
“We are pleased with the appointment of Leo Arnone. He’s been open, honest and direct with us so far. We look forward to working with him,” AFSCME Local 391 President Jon Pepe said Friday.
Arnone started as a state correctional officer in 1974. He eventually became the deputy warden of the high-security facility, Hartford Correctional Center in 1988. He stayed in that role until 1993 when he became a regional director, overseeing several prisons in the Enfield and Somers area. In 1995 he transferred to the Judicial Branch where he worked as the superintendent of the Hartford Juvenile Detention Services, and later as the deputy director of operations.
Arnone went on to work in the Department of Children and Families where he oversaw the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, five private residential training schools and parole and reentry program for children, according to a prepared statement.