As a result of our ongoing conversations with advocates and service providers within the Connecticut Reentry Collaborative working group, Community Partners in Action is supporting the following priorities for 2023 and beyond. Gus-Marks Hamilton, a brand-new member of the CPA board and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Smart Justice Campaign Manager recently discussed the power of individuals with lived experience giving oral testimony to legislators, backed by strong written testimony.
Our advocacy priorities for the 2023 legislative session are as follows:
- Anti-Discrimination in Housing: a place to live is fundamental to people’s ability to return to the community. CPA is working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) to stop blanket housing denials for people with a criminal record and encourage landlords to assess each applicant on an individual basis.
- State Identification Accessibility: CPA supports H.B. 5333 (2023), and Department of Correction issued identification documents so that individuals are provided a State ID and assistance with costs when they are discharged from prison. Examples include driver’s license, birth certificate, or a social security card.
- Juvenile Justice: Protecting young children from unnecessary trauma associated with the criminal justice system is a vital issue to CPA. We support H.B. 5456 to raise the minimum age of arrest for children. Also, in collaboration with the Connecticut Justice Alliance we are firmly against the use of chemical agents, including pepper spray, on youth in confinement.
CPA Also Supports Upholding:
- Protecting Gains from Clean Slate (began in Jan. ‘23 with erasure of 40k+ cannabis convictions).
- Expanding the funding of Community Health Worker Services in the Transitions Clinics.
- The Protect Act (minimizing solitary confinement and restraints). (S.B. 459)
To share a concern, story or request, contact your elected local legislator in the Town where you work or live, or reach out to them on Twitter or Facebook. They want to hear from you and may invite you to give spoken or written testimony. Find more information on testifying at hearings.
The above content was developed by Danielle A. Cross, CPA’s Development & Advocacy Intern.