The school, the Starr, the Hills and the prison.

Recently, Cinderella delivered a post about STARR, a “special education high school” based in Reed Intermediate, a grades 5-6 school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Cinderella doesn’t think STARR is an acting school – even though there are lots of actors in Newtown! She thinks it’s something quite different.

As said above, it’s part of Reed, at 3 Trades Lane, a stone’s throw from the Fairfield Hills complex.

And it’s not far from the original Sandy Hook Elementary, where the subject of this blog took place on 12-14-12.

Fairfield Hills, of course, is the former Connecticut state-owned mental hospital that was shut down in 1995 and subsequently scooped up by Newtown.

The Hills are alive – with town government buildings. You can find my original post on STARR here. You’ll see from the post – or simply by clicking on the title of this one – that Fairfield Hills now hosts several local government offices: The Newtown Board of Education, for one. Town hall, for two. Both in the refurbished Bridgeport Hall.

And right across the street is  Newtown Youth Academy, which isn’t an “academy” in the usual sense. It’s a sports complex, and possibly more, with a big welcome mat. You can read about it here. The Academy and town offices all share addresses on cheery-sounding “Primrose Street.”

What we know so far about STARR. In my previous post, we made the discovery that STARR is or was being housed in a school (Reed) for 5th and 6th graders (and possibly younger grades). Yet, its tiny population of four students is decidedly older, ranging from 8th to 12th graders.

We also discovered that:

  • STARR is or was administered by a former Reed principal, Dr. Sharon Epple. Until August 2012, Dr. Epple was principal at Reed, then left before the new school year began. But she is still listed as principal of STARR here. (See page 85.)
  • STARR isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Newtown Board of Education website. Checking every link on Reed’s and the main site uncovered nothing. It isn’t listed as a special education or gifted program, or any other program I could discover.
  • STARR, likely an acronym, isn’t spelled out in our primary source, which is:Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Connecticut, Institutional Code 11.  (See page 85.)
  • Of the STARR candidates reviewed in my previous post, one emerged as a possibility: Substance Treatment and Recidivism Reduction (Durham, NC)  But the program is in North Carolina, not Connecticut.
  • The phone number listed for STARR in the primary source leads to an office at Reed.

More STARRS on the horizon. Bureaucracies and corporate entities adore acronyms!

Knowing this, Cinderella looked to that Goliath of all acronym-philes, the U.S. federal government.

She found more STARRs that seem to share agendas about young prison/mental health inmates and recidivism reduction or reintegration, the 3Rs of STARR. Here are a few :

  • STARR: Staff Training Aimed at Reducing Rearrest. This is a “National Institute of Justice” program that falls under the Office of Justice ( It doesn’t instruct students or prison inmates, but “federal community supervision officers.” Specifically, it teaches them to use behaviorally based skills” to target criminal behavior. But it cautions them against using their skills against things like emotional distress “unless they act as a barrier to changing criminogenic factors.”
  • STARR Training to Work2 Program (STARR T2W2). This is a Connecticut STARR that’s part of a U.S. Department of Labor-funded collaborative program. It’s for inmates soon to be workers through a Department of Correction Work Release Program (“WRP”) in Hartford, CT, which provides work training in six areas: construction, culinary arts, green industries, medical coding and north-central Connecticut’s “Capital Workforce Partners.”
  • STARR (Short-term Assessment and Rapid Reintegration) Program. This STARR is part of a national nonprofit called Devereux. It provides services (e.g., foster parents, psychiatric services, etc.) for troubled and sexually exploited (“trafficked”) youth. Devereux’s STARR program offers “stabilization services in a structured, predictable and well-supervised milieu.” Participants at Devereaux are considered homeless.”

Whether or not these programs are what they purport to be isn’t the point of this post – even though one can well understand why Connecticut’s governor, Dannel P. Malloy, might heartily support them.

Cinderella is simply making an observation that the “STARR” acronym has been used in multiple instances as a name for certain programs – all involving vulnerable, severely troubled, incarcerated, criminally involved and possibly homeless youth. All targeting young offenders or patients for reintegration into the “free” world with the objective of keeping them there.

Maybe a coincidence, but an interesting one.

Is Newtown’s STARR likewise related to prisons, troubled youth and reintegration?

That question leads us beyond Fairfield Hills  – to Garner Correctional Institution.

The prison by the Hills. Garner is a Level-4, high-security mental health “unit” (prison) on Nunnawauk Road in Newtown. It houses 629 (in 2013) sentenced and un-sentenced male offenders. It renders “comprehensive mental health care.” In fact, we are told here that Garner inmates are “diagnosed with serious psychiatric illnesses.”

It’s right next-door to Fairfield Hills,  just a hop away geographically. Historically, Garner sprang from the same state institutional root as Fairfield, opening in 1992, just three years before Fairfield Hills shut down. In fact, it occupies acreage that once belonged to the mental hospital.

Back in the early ’90s, Newtown residents and town leaders who were opposed to a prison in the neighborhood were outnumbered. Objections died down as Newtown began collecting $1M annually  from the state – in lieu of the taxes that residents would have paid otherwise.

Money seems to make a lot of vital concerns and moral dithering go away.

Aerial views. Here is Garner from above, like an alien skull, the jagged scar of misery that modern civilization seems designed to provoke, insult and exploit:

Garner Correctional Institution

{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2016  Google }

And here it is in in relation to the Hills and Reed School:

Garner Near Fairfiled

{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2016  Google }

A raging history. That Garner has violent criminals within its gates is no matter for debate. John Michael Farren, a former Bush administration attorney who attempted to murder his wife in 2010, served his sentence there.

And as early as 2004, there were reports and rumors about violence within the institution, including stabbings, assaults, beatings and a suicide. You can read about the lurid incidents, as well as the use of “therapeutic cubicles” and Garner’s other methods here in an archived Newtown Bee article.

(As an extra reading enrichment exercise, go here to see how Connecticut’s state psych units and police departments are sometimes deployed.)

The lost boys. Were/are the four STARR students at Reed Intermediate school inmates/patients from Garner?  Beyond posing that question, Cinderella won’t speculate.

So what does Garner have to do with the Sandy Hook event? Nothing or everything. As Cinderella is beginning to understand, the Sandy Hook event couldn’t have happened without the peculiar attributes of  town structure, power connections, money woes, actors, belief systems and even, perhaps, certain entrepreNerds.

In searching for a possible connection between Garner and the Sandy Hook event, we found only one reference – from the website “Abel Danger,” the pseudonym of the 9-11/Octopus whistleblower Field McConnell, a self-described US Naval Aviator.

The never-ending story. Although McConnell’s allegations are often rambling and byzantine with detail that is often not fully explained or pinned to sources, many of his allegations are substantiated and appear to check out. Look here for the vetting  that open-source journalist James Corbett and listeners gave him after he appeared on the Corbett Report (12/08/2014). Some believe him to be a disinfo agent; others an MK-Ultra fried brain; others a cabal asset who defected; and many others an accurate if eccentric truther.

Here is what Field McConnell/Abel Danger alleged that may have a bearing on this story:

“McConnell claims that Marcy ordered Serco director Maureen Baginski to use Mycroft Warrants, Skynet satellites and covert locators to guide USM-007 agents in an exercise where blackmailed script kiddies issued a false hue and cry while Sandy Hook children were triaged by convicts who returned to the Garner Correctional Institute after mock killings.”

What could this mean? Cinderella asked that question of McConnell, but hasn’t received an answer from him. She leaves it to the capable minds of her readers.


UPDATE:  The STARR mystery has been partly solved!  Click here.


Note: Featured Image from Google Maps, Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2016  Google






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