Republicans in the CT Senate propose reforms to the criminal justice system


Republicans in the state Senate will attempt to press for a special session of the legislature on Wednesday to propose reforms to the criminal justice system, two months after their House counterparts tried to convince a majority of Democrats there.

The lunchtime event outside the Capitol will be attended by Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, and his top assistants, including Senator John Kissel, R-Enfield, a senior GOP member of the Judiciary Committee on Legislation. The proposal will address what Republicans call an increase in violent crime.

The proposals include improvements in response to crime; assistance to law enforcement personnel and opportunities to investigate the origins of criminal behavior, including trauma, housing, jobs, and education. Further details were not known on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Governor Ned Lamont said he was open to suggestions. “Yes, if there are some constructive ideas that need legislative approval, you know I’m fine,” Lamont said. “We can do it in a special session or we can do it in a regular session” in February. When asked about his idea of ​​”constructive”, Lamont made specific suggestions.

“Things that make a difference,” replied Lamont. “Not rhetoric about strict laws and regulations, but ways we can list car theft as one of the serious crimes listed as such so we can bring them to expedited prosecution. There are some things that would make a difference. Whether we do it in special sessions or on a regular basis, we should do it. “

While the FBI reported that Connecticut saw the second largest drop in crime in the country in 2019, violent crime has increased across the country in the past year and a half, which experts believe was due to the COVID pandemic.

Republicans are outnumbered 23-13 in the Senate and 97-54 in the House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, The Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy organization, released a report that found blacks in Connecticut are ten times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Latinx people are 3.7 times more likely to be jailed than non-Hispanic whites, the report said.

[email protected] Twitter: @KenDixonCT

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