Mal­loy lauded for crim­i­nal jus­tice

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - NEWS - By Clarice Sil­ber CTMIR­ROR.ORG

State lead­ers and ad­vo­cates on Wed­nes­day praised Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy for his re­forms of Connecticut’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem as the work­ing group charged with rec­om­mend­ing ways to im­prove hous­ing reen­try for for­mer in­mates met for the last time.

State Rep. Bran­don McGee, D-Hartford, lauded Mal­loy for spear­head­ing ef­forts to re­duce Connecticut’s prison pop­u­la­tion and en­act­ing his “Sec­ond Chance So­ci­ety” bill, which elim­i­nates prison as a pun­ish­ment for many drug pos­ses­sion crimes and stream­lines the process for ob­tain­ing paroles and par­dons.

“More than 5,000 peo­ple were su­per­vised by pa­role in 2017,” McGee said. “We thank you, Dan Mal­loy. We ap­pre­ci­ate you, and I don’t think we give you your ac­co­lades that you de­serve. We thank you for your poli­cies.”

Mal­loy told the Reen­try and Hous­ing Work­ing

Group that de­crim­i­nal­iz­ing mar­i­juana alone led to 8,000 fewer ar­rests per year, giv­ing prose­cu­tors and other com­mu­nity providers the chance to fo­cus on other is­sues.

The gov­er­nor said the state has more to do — in­clud­ing his long-held con­vic­tion that Connecticut should ex­pand the ju­ris­dic­tion of ju­ve­nile courts to in­clude of­fend­ers ages 18 to 20.

Mal­loy said he was the first gov­er­nor to bring that mea­sure up on a na­tional level and has since in­spired other states, such as like Ver­mont, Illi­nois and Mas­sachusetts, to con­sider it.

“Which is an in­ter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non for me, a guy who brought that up on a na­tional ba­sis, that I’ve been un­able to con­vince our cit­i­zenry or their rep­re­sen­ta­tives here to take that step,” Mal­loy said. “That doesn’t mean that every crime has to be treated that way, but we need to rec­og­nize that peo­ple are not ma­ture.”

The work­ing group, which is set to sub­mit a re­port of rec­om­men­da­tions to the Gen­eral Assem­bly at the end of this month, later heard Yale Law School stu­dents present pro­pos­als to change the state’s Sec­tion 8 and Rental As­sis­tance Pro­gram reg­u­la­tions and elim­i­nate some hous­ing hur­dles for the reen­try pop­u­la­tion.

Yale Law School Reen­try Clinic stu­dents Sa­man­tha Gray and An­drea Siso said the Depart­ment of Hous­ing should ap­ply rea­son­able lookback pe­ri­ods for crim­i­nal con­vic­tions, omit sex of­fender reg­istry re­stric­tions in rental as­sis­tance, im­ple­ment fam­ily re­uni­fi­ca­tion poli­cies to al­low for­mer in­mates to join their fam­ily’s house­holds, and re­in­state a se­cu­rity de­posit guar­an­tee pro­gram to help in­mates find hous­ing within their

“We thank you, Dan Mal­loy. We ap­pre­ci­ate you, and I don’t think we give you your ac­co­lades that you de­serve. We thank you for your poli­cies.”

State Rep. Bran­don McGee, D-Hartford

first year of re­lease.

Yale Law School stu­dents Sa­muel Brei­d­bart, Max Rein­hardt and Laura-Lynn San­doual pro­posed a “clean slate” leg­isla­tive mea­sure that would seal records for all mis­de­meanors and some felonies after a set pe­riod of time to land­lords and em­ploy­ers (but not law en­force­ment), and an­other “ban the box” bill that would pre­vent land­lords from hav­ing ini­tial ac­cess to an ap­pli­cant’s crim­i­nal history and man­date their dis­cre­tion to deny ap­pli­ca­tions.

John Souza, a land­lord and the pres­i­dent of the Connecticut Coali­tion of Prop­erty Own­ers, said he is con­cerned th­ese pro­pos­als would leave land­lords vul­ner­a­ble to law­suits but would like to be part of the process in craft­ing any fur­ther pro­pos­als.

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