“In 2021, I co-published a report with Paper Prisons about people in Connecticut with convictions. I also testified for the Clean Slate bill, passed in May 2021, which was supposed to erase the records of misdemeanor and low-level felony convictions after seven or ten years without any conviction. The law was supposed to take effect in January 2023, but the state is behind schedule.
Recently, I decided to revisit the data, and I obtained all convictions as of December 31, 2022. The statistics are shocking and undeniable.
Three cities – Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven – where the majority of residents are either Black or Hispanic, are responsible for 34% of all convictions, 40% of all felony convictions, and 36% of probation violations, despite comprising only 11% of the state’s population. This statistic alone indicates the systemic bias in our criminal justice system. This bias leads to severe injustice, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and inequality in our society for centuries. This unfair discrimination creates a vicious cycle of inequality and a lack of opportunity for the Black community.
The State of Connecticut needs to enforce the Clean Slate Bill that was passed almost two years ago, so people like me don’t have to keep facing discrimination based on the injustice that happened more than a decade ago.
The latest data analysis and my personal experience demonstrate that the state needs to act on the Clean Slate Bill. We must act now to prevent the continuation of the cycle of inequality that has long existed within our society. We must also address the systemic bias that plagues the system and ensure it is fair and just for all.
As a concerned resident of Connecticut and a victim of the state’s criminal justice system, I urge the state to take immediate action to enforce the Clean Slate Bill and to address the systemic bias that plagues the system.
We must work together to build a criminal justice system that is fair and equitable for all.”