April 15, 2007
By ANN MARIE SOMMA, Courant Staff Writer
Bryant Wiseman died in 1999 while being restrained by guards at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, and his mother is suing the state, hoping to receive a significant sum to compensate her for her loss.
But if a Hartford jury, scheduled to convene next month, awards Elaine Wiseman any money, she'll have to settle a bill with the state: It wants $87,000 from her dead son's estate for the cost of housing and feeding him for two years in the prison.
The state Department of Administrative Services has collected incarceration costs from current and former inmates who come into what the state considers a "windfall" - money received through an inheritance, the lottery or a legal judgment - since 2001. ...
A man out of jail without money is going to eventually end up on state assistance, or worse, back in the system," Brignole said.
In 2001, Brignole represented former inmate Mark Strickland, who won a $250,000 settlement from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport over a sexual abuse claim against a priest in the 1970s. That shrank to $40,000 after the state seized $120,000 for his time at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville, and after his attorney's fees were paid.
The state also collected $12,660 from Strickland that the agency paid for public assistance given to his daughter.
Today Strickland, who served time for sexual assault and a string of burglaries, lives on the fringe of society in Florida, battling the pain of his abuse, his attorney said.