The state’s efforts to keep nonviolent offenders from clogging state jails and prisons have reduced Connecticut’s inmate population to below 15,000 inmates, its lowest level in 20 years, the governor said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made the announcement on Friday morning at the Hartford Correctional Center, the site in recent years where he has chosen to announce increments of his “Second Chance Society” agenda that has resulted in a savings of $62 million in the current budget of the state Department of Corrections.

It’s the smallest Connecticut prison population since January 1997, when it was 14,989. The all-time high was February 2008 when it exceeded 19,890.

“Connecticut is part of a nationwide trend in states both blue and red, with bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats alike, to end the era of permanent punishment and focus on permanent reform, and these efforts are making our state a safer place,” Malloy said. “We need to break the cycle of crime and poverty that has damaged too many families, and to do this we must ensure that these inmates are prepared with the tools to become successful, productive members of our society upon their release.”