Connecticut Governor: We Need to Be A "Second Chance Society"
Date:  01-22-2015

Not content with the drop in prison population, Dannel Malloy pushes for more nonpartisan reform measures
When Dannell Malloy became Governor of Connecticut in 1997, there was hope among criminal justice reform advocates that changes would be made to the outdated and ineffective policies that cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year and kept Connecticut prisons overflowing and recidivism rates high. Harsh criminal justice policies seemed to be ingrained throughout the state, and replacing “tough on crime” policies with “smart on crime” measures was an uphill battle. But Malloy stood fast, and although some of his proposals were a tough sell to many conservative legislators, he has made Connecticut one of the top states to implement criminal justice reform.

Malloy has taken heat for some of the reform measures he endorsed, such as abolishing the death penalty in Connecticut, and re-implementing earned credit in the state’s prison system, but his commitment to juvenile justice reform has won praise nationwide, and he has promised to do more to keep young people out of the criminal justice system. Malloy's initiatives are in line with increasing national bipartisan support for criminal justice reform.

On January 15, 2015 the CT Mirror reported on “the new politics of crime” with Malloy giving some Republican politicians credit for pushing for criminal justice reform.

From the Mirror:

Connecticut began the year with 16,167 inmates in its prisons and jails, the lowest number since John G. Rowland celebrated his second New Year's Day as governor on Jan. 1, 1997. The drop comes as arrests fell by nearly 5 percent in 2014, while the number of young people entering prison has fallen for a half-dozen consecutive years.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who intends in coming weeks to propose a “second-chance society” plan to enhance employment prospects of ex-offenders to further depress falling recidivism rates, welcomed the data as an affirmation of a new bipartisan approach to crime.

Newt Gingrich, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush are the among the Republicans who have voiced support for sentencing reforms that have nudged the federal court system away from mandatory minimum sentences on drug offenses enacted in response to the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

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