For too long, communities of color in Connecticut – especially Black and Latinx people – have been impacted by systemic racism, mass criminalization, and mass incarceration. The government is spending millions every year to arrest and lock people up – disproportionately people of color -- while failing to invest enough into the basic needs of every community in our state – housing, healthcare, education, jobs. The state department with the most staff in Connecticut is the Department of Corrections, which has, for instance, twice as many staff as the Department of Transportation. Since 2017, Connecticut’s prison population has dropped by 5,000 people—a historic decrease driven by community demands for reform. But only one prison has been shut down during this period, and the size of the Department of Corrections (DOC) has not been reduced, costing taxpayers millions.
It’s time to cut, shut, invest:
- Cut the number of people held in jails and prisons. Cut the number of people on probation and parole. Cut correctional staff. Cut the funding for police departments prosecutors, and correctional staff.
- Shut jails and prisons down.
- Invest in the communities most harmed by systemic racism and mass incarceration, securing real community safety through housing, education, health care, and other supports and services.
Governor Lamont and the state legislature must pass bills to further cut correctional populations in Connecticut, shut down prisons, and invest in communities. The call to #CutShutINVEST aligns with the national movement for racial justice and reforming the criminal legal system. By cutting correctional budgets and shutting prisons, the state can invest hundreds of millions of dollars in community supports and services that actually produce safety and justice. Now is the time for real action to end mass incarceration and advance racial justice in Connecticut. #CutShutINVEST.