Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middetown

President Joe Biden’s administration has taken a pass on a plan to use Connecticut’s shuttered juvenile prison to temporarily house migrant children, Gov. Ned Lamont said during a Thursday press conference.

Lamont said his chief of staff, Paul Mounds, had been in touch with the White House discussing the possibility of using the former Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown as housing for the children as recently as Wednesday evening. Ultimately, the administration opted against it, at least for the immediate future. 

“I think the White House said, ‘“Let’s take a pause. I think we’re taking care of these kids elsewhere right now but we really appreciate the heart of the state of Connecticut to reach out and give us some options,’” Lamont said when asked about the plans Thursday.

The governor previously said Vice President Kamala Harris asked during a visit to Connecticut in March if the state could provide temporary shelter to some of the thousands of refugee children being held at detention centers on the southern border. 

He suggested the former juvenile prison, which has been closed since 2018, and went so far as to tour the facility with relevant agency heads and stakeholders to evaluate whether it would be an appropriate location. 

Lamont said Thursday that the federal government has no immediate plans to take the state up on its offer. 

“They said they’re all set for now,” he said.