Connecticut Budget Impasse is a Public Safety Risk
Letter to the Editor reprinted from the Hartford Courant, August 2, 2017
As the Executive Director of Family ReEntry, a Connecticut
criminal justice nonprofit, and as a formerly incarcerated person myself, I am greatly concerned about the state legislature’s inability/unwillingness to pass a budget.
In the criminal justice sector, this represents a huge public safety risk as people are released from prisons in ever larger numbers (a good thing) without adequate access to critical cost-effective wraparound services such as substance abuse and mental health counseling, career training, housing, family services, etc.
It should be no surprise that, when left with no other option, these individuals often return to the very behavior that landed them in prison in the first place (a very bad thing).
As the cost to incarcerate a person can be up to 10 times the cost of nonprofit-provided re-entry services, it is obvious that it is in our short-term and long-term financial best interest to reinvest state budget savings in quality community corrections.
Each day without a budget and adequate funding of Connecticut’s nonprofits wastes the precious few resources we have at huge fiscal cost – and at even larger costs in human suffering and public safety.