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July 17, 2018

Encouraging lawmakers to take a "face-to-face" approach to criminal justice reform

Connecticut Gov Daniel Malloy has this great commentary in The Hill under the headline "To reimagine the criminal justice system, start with a face-to-face connection." I recommend the piece in full, and here are excerpts:

Recently, the first lady and I convened a group of state officials, judges, prosecutors, victim advocates and other stakeholders to discuss Connecticut’s progress toward improving the state’s criminal justice system.  Sounds like a run-of-the-mill convening of policymakers and practitioners until you consider the venue: one of our state’s maximum-security prisons, the Cheshire Correctional Institution.

“Reimagining Justice 2018: Outside In” was the first-ever conference to be held inside such a prison, serving as a rare opportunity for those who shape and carry out Connecticut’s criminal justice policies to step into the confines of a prison and hear directly from those who are residents there.

During my time as governor, I’ve prioritized these types of meaningful interactions with people directly impacted by the correctional system, whether it’s been with people who are incarcerated, the corrections officers that supervise them or victims of crime.  Over the course of my 24 visits to date, interactions with victims, correctional officers and inmates have become a central part of my efforts to develop meaningful criminal justice policy changes.

These experiences have informed many policy discussions and have led to extraordinary progress in our state.  From 2008 to 2016, Connecticut has seen the complete closure of five prisons along with major portions of four other facilities.  More importantly our state has experienced the largest reduction in violent crime of any state in the nation over the past four years.  We’ve also seen our prison population reach its lowest level since 1994 due to fewer and fewer arrests and prison admissions and while continuing to see meaningful drops in recidivism rates....

Whether it be attending the reentry program graduation of someone preparing to return to the community after incarceration or meeting with corrections officers to discuss new ways to ensure a healthy working environment for them, these face-to-face engagements can help policymakers gain a deeper appreciation of the unique challenges people encounter when they are closely involved in the correctional system....

It’s critical for all elected leaders and policymakers at every level of government to understand the high value of these types of interactions.  That is why I, along with a group of 12 other Republican and Democratic governors across the country, have taken part in the Face to Face initiative, a call to action for all policymakers to personally connect with the people closest to the correctional system.

I urge all policymakers of all levels across the country to join these efforts and commit to following a thoughtful approach to policy that focuses not only on data, but the people behind those numbers.  Together, by considering the immeasurable human impact of our policy decisions, we can reimagine the way we approach criminal justice.

July 17, 2018 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

Comments

Excuse me, Dannel. Shut the fuck up about meeting such people inside of programs, inside of controlled prison settings. You may speak after meeting them face to face on the streets of your neighborhood, and not that of other people on whom you dumping these vicious, toxic predators. Make the meeting after dark. Report back.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 18, 2018 2:21:40 AM

Why do Democrats meet with criminals, prison guards, and not with victims of vicious violent crime? The criminals generate government make work jobs for rent seeking worthless government workers registered with the Democratic Party.

Prof. Berman should not count this comment as a second comment. If he had modernized his blog, I would have corrected the above comment, and there would only be one comment. Everyone else allows editing of comments. What is up with Prof. Berman?

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 18, 2018 2:24:50 AM

Doug you have untapped powers, you pressed Davids enter key, shame on you.

Then you didnt revamp the website, so he can cleanup his mess after his episode.

Its a tough life David, keep on swinging, but I think you struck out long time ago.

Even 5th graders do better than this.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Jul 18, 2018 9:59:13 PM

Midwest. You are not a lawyer. Have a peaceful day.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 19, 2018 2:10:06 AM

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