Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy says the “one-size-fits-all” approach to criminal justice has been a costly failure that has filled his state’s prison with blacks and Latinos. He said Connecticut is now taking a more holistic approach to justice, including a focus on the societal, behavioral and economic pressures that can lead some to crime. Malloy spoke Monday at the seventh annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at John Jay College in New York.
Connecticut is now “catching up to where we should have been a long time ago” in its justice policy, says Malloy, who worked as a prosecutor in Brooklyn in the 1980s before entering politics. “Treating everybody the same didn’t make a lot of sense.” He says the state is committed to a focus on the factors that keep people out of prison, including housing, employment and education. He acknowledged that his state’s criminal justice policies have been discriminatory against minorities, noting that in 2008 nearly eight in 10 Connecticut prison inmates were black or Latino. The Guggenheim Symposium, “How Drugs, Race and Mass Incarceration Have Distorted American Justice (and What to Do About It),” concludes Tuesday.