Reaction to Connecticut Sentencing Commission Report Regarding Pretrial Detention

February 7, 2017

CONTACT: Meghan Smith, 860-471-8468, 860-992-7645, msmith@acluct.org

HARTFORD — Connecticut’s Sentencing Commission has released its study and recommendations regarding Connecticut’s pretrial justice system. Today’s report, which the commission provided to Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly, was prompted by a 2015 request from the governor for a thorough investigation of Connecticut’s pretrial detention system, including bail, and recommendations regarding the potential for reform. In addition to analysis regarding the state’s bail system and lessons from other states and counties, the commission’s report includes eight suggestions for changes to Connecticut’s pretrial justice system.

The following is a reaction from David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU-CT):

“As this report’s findings show, the human and financial costs of Connecticut’s bail system remain too high. Equal treatment under the law is a promise of our Constitution, and it should not depend on how much money someone has in his or her pocket. Reforming Connecticut’s bail system is still the right thing to do for justice and equality in our state. The Sentencing Commission’s report is a good first step toward understanding the inequities in our current bail system, and toward moving forward with meaningful solutions that ensure equal protection under the law. New Jersey, New Mexico, D.C., New York City, and other parts of the country have shown that bail reform is possible. Connecticut should follow suit.”

For the commission’s full report: http://www.ct.gov/ctsc/lib/ctsc/Pretrial_Release_and_Detention_in_CT_2.6.2017.pdf

For the ACLU-CT’s statement regarding 2016 bail reform legislation: http://www.acluct.org/updates/bail-reform-justice-deferred-while-legislature-played-politics

For the ACLU-CT’s legislative testimony in support of 2016 bail reform proposals: http://www.acluct.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SB18-Testimony_An-Act-Concerning-a-Second-Chance-Society.pdf