Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) hosted Governor Dannel Malloy at a roundtable with students from the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Criminal Justice Program. The event opened with a welcome by NVCC President, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. where she complimented the Governor for his brave direction on criminal justice reform.
Malloy highlighted details from both the 2015 Second Chance Society Legislation that passed and 2016 Second Chance legislation that ultimately did not pass. He also shared insights from the practices used in German prisons. Governor Malloy and Department of Corrections (DOC) Commissioner Scott Semple travelled to Germany to see how their criminal justice is handled. Malloy shared his observation that the practices employed by the German prison system are “more humane” and they plan for incarceration to end. “People are going to leave jail. They plan for it and we ignore it.”
Since taking office, reforming the criminal justice system has been a top priority for Malloy. "We know that if we can keep young people from entering our criminal justice system, the odds are in their favor that they will experience better lifelong outcomes. It is clear that our recent efforts have been successful, and that is why we are proposing to expand these reforms even further. We cannot take a one-size-fits-all attitude to corrections and expect further gains - and we cannot treat a low-risk adult the same way we treat a career criminal. Our prisons should not serve as crime schools."
The Governor pointed out that as the state continues initiatives to better handle the inmate population and reduce the chances of recidivism, the statewide inmate population within the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) has dropped below 15,000 -- the lowest level it has been since January 3, 1997, when it was 14,989.
Students participated in the criminal-justice-reform roundtable with the Governor in a short question-answer program. The SGA President Keila Franco presented the Governor with a certificate of appreciation and a poem.