Progressive Prison Project
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Justice Reinvestment in Connecticut:
The SouthWest Connecticut Justice Reinvestment Initiative
Please join us at this important and informative conference
on Justice Reinvestment and Criminal Justice Reform:
“Building Bridges: Revisited”
Central Connecticut State University
Student Center, Alumni Hall
New Britain, CT, Tues., Jan. 14th
Southwest CT Justice Reinvestment Initiative
The harmful impacts of Connecticut’s policy of investing more state funding in prisons than in higher education has dire consequences on our economy. The direct impact of this policy is clear: the number of people incarcerated has grown exponentially, while drastically undercutting community support services that facilitate and ensure success in community reentry. Economies are regional and require systemic changes to assist policymakers and communities set priorities. Justice reinvestment is a model that could shift the focus for long-term policy changes to cut state spending and reinvest in affordable housing, access to jobs, transportation, good education, healthy environments, and safe places to recreate and live.
What is Justice Reinvestment?
Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and strengthen neighborhoods. The purpose of justice reinvestment is to manage and allocate criminal justice populations more cost-effectively, generating savings that can be reinvested in evidence-based strategies that increase public safety while holding offenders accountable.
Justice Reinvestment in Connecticut would focus on reinvesting savings from decreased funding for prisons to investing the money in community supervision, offender counseling, substance abuse rehabilitation and support systems including affordable housing, access to education and jobs to ensure success in community reentry. In short, it would allocate limited financial resources to produce better outcomes.
Why Justice Reinvestment?
· It costs CT taxpayers over $50,000/year to incarcerate one CT prisoner when employee benefits and pensions are included.
· This does not include the additional cost to manage our criminal justice system and related economy, community, family, children and human costs associated with each prisoner.
· 75% of CT inmates have a history of substance abuse. Addiction is a disease, which deserves rehabilitation, not criminalization and incarceration.
· More than 50% of CT prisoners receive a sentence of less than two years. Non-violent drug and technical parole offenses should not automatically result in incarceration and re-incarceration.
How would Justice Reinvestment work?
Connecticut currently allocates $600 million for the state Department of Correction (DOC). If DOC spending could be decreased by 12.5% through reduced recidivism, more community supervision, etc., a savings of $75 million would be realized. Justice Reinvestment legislation could reallocate that savings in the following ways:
– Direct reduction of state debt ($25 million)
– Enhanced community supervision in CT’s five cities where most crime occurs ($25 million)
– Spending on opportunities which would prevent future incarcerations, e.g., housing, education, mental health/substance abuse treatment ($25 million)
What can you do?
Promote and support a call to action for legislation to create Justice Reinvestment efforts in CT.
Attend the “Building Bridges: Revisited” Conference on January 14th, at Central Connecticut State University
For more information, please feel free to contact me or any of the Board Members of the SouthWest Connecticut Justice Reinvestment Initiative.
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Director, Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Christ Church Greenwich
254 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA 06830
Director of Prison Ministries
First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA 06604