Connecticut’s new criminal justice reforms, including reduced penalties for drug possession, were hailed Thursday in a bill-signing ceremony by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The law seeks to emphasize treatment and rehabilitation over punishment for possession of small amounts of drugs, a reform that has been adopted or is under consideration in a number of states.
“I think that this is an important moment in Connecticut as we join a few other states that have taken this issue on in making sure that we better prepare those who run afoul of the law to be actually contributing members of our society,” Malloy said. Besides reclassifying most drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors, the bill also allows the state’s parole board to release inmates without a hearing for nonviolent crimes if there is no victim. There would be no change in the penalties for crimes involving possession of drugs with intent to sell and no changes for selling drugs.