FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2022
Jerrod Ferrari Jerrod@narrative-project.com 203.963.9224
BRIDGEPORT, CT - Today the Connecticut Justice Alliance and allies will testify on a range of proposed bills impacting the state’s youth, especially those in predominantly Black and Brown communities. “The fear-mongering being used to scare Connecticut residents, using misleading, mid-pandemic data in an attempt to lock up children must be resisted at every point, “ said CTJA Executive Director Christina Quaranta. “The many positive and impactful steps the state has taken in previous years to deconstruct the criminalization of youth must not be unraveled. Policies that further criminalize youth are racist at the root. Locking up children for a few votes at the polls in November is shameful.” The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing Monday, March 14, 2022, at 10 a.m. via Zoom. The complete list of bills on the agenda can be found here. Staff and CTJA advocates will be available to speak directly with the press throughout the day Monday. “We have worked with the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee since its inception in 2014 and we are so impressed by the commitment of this bipartisan group to do what’s right for the youth in Connecticut,” said Erika Nowakowski, Associate Director of the Tow Youth Justice Institute. “This year’s legislative recommendations build on the successful reform we have seen in the past eight years that have led to Connecticut being widely considered a model for how a state can improve its juvenile justice system while improving public safety and overall youth outcomes." Written testimony can be submitted up to two weeks after the date of original hearings. The public can email all testimony to Judtestimony@cga.ct.gov in Word or PDF format. “We call on Connecticut’s decision-makers to do the right thing and get our children the help they need, not play politics with their futures by reinvesting in policy that has already been proven to fail,” said Quaranta. “We must do all we can as a state to end the criminalization of youth. Incarceration doesn’t work. Investing funds into a closed youth prison to make it a better-looking building with a new name won’t change that it is a prison. Connecticut’s youth deserve better. CTJA will testify against the following bills Monday: • S.B. No. 365: An Act Concerning juvenile and criminal justice reforms • H.B. No. 5417: An Act Concerning Juvenile Justice and Services and Firearms background checks • H.B. No. 5418: An act revising juvenile and criminal justice statutes and insurance statutes concerning theft of a motor vehicle • S.B. No. 386: An Act Concerning a Study of the Juvenile Delinquency Laws of this State • S.B. 16 An Act Addressing Gun Violence and Juvenile Crime CTJA will testify in support of: •S.B. No. 387 An Act Concerning the Recommendation of the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee • S.B. 16 An Act Addressing Gun Violence and Juvenile Crime
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ABOUT THE CONNECTICUT JUSTICE ALLIANCE The Connecticut Justice Alliance (CTJA) is a youth/adult partnership working to end the criminalization of youth. The Alliance works to disrupt and dismantle the pathways that funnel children and youth into the juvenile justice system by using organizing, advocacy, and policy tools to protect the rights, futures, and well-being of potentially, currently, and formerly incarcerated youth, while also ensuring youth who are detained, incarcerated, and involved in the courts and legal systems receive safe, fair, and dignified treatment. CTJA was formerly known as the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance.