Yesterday morning, Governor-elect Ned Lamont’s criminal justice policy committee released its recommendations for changes to Connecticut’s criminal justice system to members of Lamont’s transition team. The committee’s suggestions included legislative and administrative proposals to reduce incarceration, improve assistance for currently and formerly incarcerated people, and increase prosecutorial transparency and accountability. They also called for the introduction of legislation to prevent discrimination against people on the basis of their involvement in the justice system.
Connecticut will be safer and stronger when our state reduces incarceration and eliminates racial disparities in the justice system, and Governor-elect Lamont should embrace his chance to create lasting criminal justice reforms. Many of yesterday's committee proposals are positive, commonsense steps that Governor-elect Lamont can and should take to move our state in a safer, fairer, and freer direction during his first 100 days in office.
Smart Justice was at yesterday's meeting, and we encourage Governor-elect Lamont to embrace the committee’s recommendations, which reflect the goodwill and research of a diverse group of experts. We are also ready to make sure Governor-elect Lamont follows through on the six criminal justice reform promises he made to Smart Justice on the campaign trail.
Connecticut can be a national leader on ending mass incarceration, and yesterday's meeting was a good reminder that our state has a solid foundation to build on the work to end mass incarceration and eliminate racial disparities in the justice system. It was also a positive reminder that ending mass incarceration is something that people from all walks of life can get behind -- Lamont's criminal justice policy committee membership included lawyers, law professors, a prosecutor, a victims' advocate, employment and reentry experts, and civil rights and civil liberties advocates. Critically, it also included formerly incarcerated people, who are too often left out of conversations about our own futures. Smart Justice volunteer leader Tiheba Williams-Bain and ACLU of Connecticut executive director David McGuire were also on the committee to lend their expertise.
The legislative session begins on January ninth, and Smart Justice is ready to hold Governor-elect Lamont and legislators accountable for making progress toward ending mass incarceration.
You can watch Smart Justice break down what we saw in yesterday's meeting and what's next.