ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) –- Gov. Ned Lamont and leaders with the Connecticut Department of Corrections announced on Tuesday that Willard Correctional Institution in Enfield will be closing in 2023.

Lamont said the decision to close the facility is attributed to the sustained decrease in the state’s correction population in the past decade and that the decision is a part of the state’s commitment to operating government more cost-effectively.

The decision to close the facility will save taxpayers approximately $6.5 million in annual operating costs. The Department of Corrections plans to refocus its resources on its current population.

“Because spending millions annually to operate facilities for a population that is significantly smaller than just a few years ago is not a good use of taxpayer money, Connecticut is continuing to right-size its correction system to concentrate resources more effectively,” Governor Lamont said. “I applaud Commissioner Quiros, along with all of the correctional professionals at the Department of Correction, for their tireless efforts to keep the facilities secure and our communities safe.”

According to the governor, the state’s correction population decreased by 44% from 2012 to 2022.

The Willard Correctional Institution opened in 1990 as a level 2 facility for men. There are over 250 individuals at the facility as of this time. According to officials, the remaining population will be methodically transferred to other appropriate facilities within the correctional system.

There are approximately 71 employees currently working at the facility, but Lamont said the closure would not result in any layoffs.

Officials said the Department of Corrections would work closely with the current staff to reemploy them at other facilities near the Willard Correctional Institution. Officials said the move would help to reduce overtime expenses and fill vacant roles at other facilities.

The Willard Correctional Institution will join several other correctional facilities in the state that have closed in recent years following the decline of the incarcerated population in the state.

The most recent closures included Radgowski Correctional Center and the Northern Correctional Institution in 2021.

“There is a great deal of work that goes into closing a correctional facility,” Department of Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros said. “From the staff to the incarcerated population, there are a lot of moving parts. Thanks to the professionalism of our staff, I have no doubt that the job will get done in a methodical and seamless manner, just as we did with the Radgowski and Northern facilities.”