FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2021
Edwin Stubbs Edwin@narrative-project.com 973.223.0525
BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Connecticut Justice Alliance (CTJA) is fully rejecting a flawed proposal put forth by state Republicans that will lead to the incarceration of the state’s children. CTJA Policy Director Iliana Pujols issues the following statement addressing the plan misleadingly titled A Better Way To A Safer Connecticut.” “What is disheartening is the idea that we need more police and harsher punishments to steer young people on a path that doesn't lead to crime. CTJA has hosted community conversations with police, community members, advocates, parents, incarcerated youth, and providers from 14+ cities and had the opportunity to discuss what factors people thought led young people into the legal system and were able to identify 7 root issues that need to be addressed, all rooting in bias and racial and ethnic inequities. When we talk about investing in communities, addressing the root issues without causing more harm is what we mean. CTJAs #InvestInMeCT campaign highlights the need for investment in areas identified by communities and highlights the negative impact of harsher penalties and incarceration on young people. Data shows that incarceration doesn't work. It causes more harm than good - impacting mental, physical, and emotional health while lowering chances of success and opportunity. The solution to addressing crime is not incarceration nor increasing reliance on law enforcement. The small population of children who are repeatedly coming into contact with the system do not need to be pushed any deeper into the system. They need more services and support from people who can relate to them and provide credible guidance. The only way to do so is to identify and work with impacted communities, not criminalize them. We hope to work with legislators to schedule more intentional community conversations statewide to proactively discuss solutions that create long-term success. The solution is in the community of those facing true injustice, the disconnect between the oppressed and the oppressive.”
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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.