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Governor meets with state and national criminal justice reform activists

HAMDEN - Several activists and lawmakers met with Governor Ned Lamont at Quinnipiac University Monday to discuss reforming the criminal justice system.

Those with a criminal record say getting out of prison is sometimes just half battle when they get out of prison.

“They’ve done well on the inside, they’ve taken classes, they’ve gotten certificates.  They think they are going to be able to come home and do well and they find doors closed in there faces,” CNN Host and advocate Van Jones said.

Jones is the CEO of the newly formed REFORM Alliance, an effort backed by celebrities like Jay Z and rapper Meek Mill. It’s addressing challenges people out of prison face like housing, finding work and strict probation laws that an land then back in the system.

“For example, housing authorities, private landlords to talk about what is the concern when you say you want a three year look back for a misdemeanor and a ten year look back for a felony. What does that mean to a private Landlord,” State Representative Brandon McGee said.

McGee who hosted the event, said it is going to take more than a conversation. He is currently sponsoring one of at least five bills in the current legislative session addressing those challenges.

One would address discrimination based on a person’s criminal history and other addresses a clean slate law.

The governor acknowledged the efforts that are working in our state but like with anything there is room for improvement.

“We can do a better job that’s good for the tax payer that’s good for job creation and it’s good for a lot of young people who deserve a second chance,” Governor Ned Lamont said.

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