Media Contact

Meghan Holden, ACLU of Connecticut, media@acluct.org

October 29, 2018

HARTFORD – Yesterday, 28 Connecticut organizations, led by the ACLU of Connecticut’s Smart Justice campaign, sent a letter asking Independent gubernatorial candidate Oz Griebel, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski to publish criminal and juvenile justice reform platforms. Today, Ned Lamont published a platform. The following is a reaction from Gus Marks-Hamilton, Smart Justice field organizer for the ACLU of Connecticut:

“The financial and human costs of mass incarceration are too high for Connecticut’s candidates for governor to be silent on this issue. Connecticut has made critical progress toward criminal justice reform under Governor Malloy, but our next governor, whoever that is, will have much more work to do. Connecticut imprisons more people per capita than any other New England state, and we can do better. Our state will be a safer, more prosperous, and fairer place when it adopts proven policies that prioritize people over ineffective strategies that rely solely on imprisonment. Today, Ned Lamont took a first step toward embracing criminal justice reform, and we hope he and every candidate for governor will do even more work to end mass incarceration. Every gubernatorial candidate still has the opportunity to show they are ready to champion policies to end mass incarceration and eliminate racial disparities in the justice system on day one.”

Since July, led by a cohort of formerly incarcerated people, the ACLU of Connecticut’s Smart Justice campaign has been at every gubernatorial debate, traveled to every gubernatorial candidate’s campaign office, and called and emailed every gubernatorial candidate asking them to embrace smarter justice policy proposals. Statewide Smart Justice polling released in September shows the majority of Connecticut voters believe it is important to reduce incarceration in the state.

Neither the ACLU of Connecticut nor its Smart Justice campaign endorse or oppose candidates for elected office.

Copies of the letter sent by 28 Connecticut civil rights, faith-based, labor, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, humanist, and direct service organizations, as well as three members of the clergy and one law professor, are included below. In addition, more than 270 Connecticut residents from 122 towns and cities have sent emails asking Griebel, Lamont, and Stefanowski to publish criminal justice platforms.

The list of letter signatories is as follows:

32BJ SEIU*
ACLU Smart Justice Connecticut
Center for Children’s Advocacy
Christian Activities Council
Community Partners in Action
Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut
Connecticut Bail Fund
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ
Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance
Connecticut Students for a Dream
Connecticut Voices for Children
Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund
Connecticut Youth Services Association (serving CT's YSBs)
Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective
James Forman, Jr., Professor, Yale Law School
Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice
Middlesex Coalition for Children
Middletown Racial Justice Coalition
NAACP Connecticut State Conference
NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut
National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter
National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls**
Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut
Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership
SEIU 1199NE
The Connecticut Coalition of Reason
The Hartford Area Humanists
The Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County
The Humanist Association of Connecticut
The Rev. Isaac Lawson, Immanuel Congregational Church (UCC), Hartford
The Rev. Kari Nicewander, Immanuel Congregational Church (UCC), Hartford
The Rev. Steve Camp, Faith Congregational Church (UCC), Hartford
The Secular Coalition for Connecticut
True Colors

*Signed 10/29
**Signed 10/30

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