Division of Criminal Justice Launches "Moving Justice Forward" Project in Collaboration with The Center for Court Innovation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Rocky Hill, CT) -- Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., today announced the creation of a new project titled Moving Justice Forward, a collaboration between the Division of Criminal Justice and The Center for Court Innovation that focuses on improving fairness and efficiency in Connecticut’s criminal justice system.
Funded with private support from the Herbert & Nell Singer Foundation, the project will create a blueprint for Moving Justice Forward in Connecticut based on a comprehensive analysis of the current state of prosecutorial policies and practices in four of the state’s 13 judicial districts - Hartford, New Britain, New London and Danbury. The diversity in size and demographics of each district ensures that the project captures varying dimensions across Connecticut’s court system.
“Moving Justice Forward is one of the most innovative projects the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice has ever participated in and the Division looks forward to the research-grounded analysis and thoughtful recommendations that will help lead the Division toward effective change – and possibly transformation – so we can make our communities safer and more resilient. It is important to have a blueprint to ensure that every citizen in the state is treated fairly and consistently regardless of where their case is heard,” Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said. “The Division would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Herbert & Nell Singer Foundation for funding this important project and its appreciation for the collaboration with The Center for Court Innovation, a leader in fostering transformative justice initiatives. The Division is particularly enthusiastic given the great success of our partnership with these two tremendous institutions in the development of the Division's Early Screening and Intervention Program.”
To create the blueprint for Moving Justice Forward, staff from The Center for Court Innovation will conduct interviews with prosecutors, victims, criminal justice system stakeholders and focus groups, observe court hearings and review data. The project will examine such topics as case initiation, charging, plea-bargaining, sentencing, bail and communications with law enforcement.
“The Center for Court Innovation is thrilled to be partnering with Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice on such a bold and ambitious project,” said Annie Schachar, Deputy Director of Training and Technical Assistance at The Center for Court Innovation. “We’re looking forward to engaging with Connecticut’s justice community to create a blueprint for Moving Justice Forward. We are hopeful that this road map for prosecutorial fairness and transparency will not only be an effective guide for Connecticut, but for other jurisdictions around the country as well.”
To implement the project successfully, Moving Justice Forward will rely on the strategic advice and expertise of an advisory panel made up of esteemed criminal justice stakeholders, decision-makers and partners from the court system, both in prosecution and defense, law enforcement and those impacted by crime. The Division will announce the members of the advisory panel at a later date. Panel members will serve as advisors for the criminal justice system, the community and citizens in order to develop cohesive plans for Moving Justice Forward in Connecticut.
“The Herbert & Nell Singer Foundation is proud to partner with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice and The Center for Court Innovation in this bold endeavor. It takes strong leadership to engage in such an important project. This is an opportunity to enhance the administration of Criminal Justice in Connecticut which will benefit all,” said Jay H. Sandak, President of the Herbert & Nell Singer Foundation.