The State of Connecticut

Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) Project

The SJC Project is a Second Chance SocietyInitiative that safely reduces the number of pre-trial low risk offenders detained in Connecticut jails and works toward eliminating racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system.

Funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation

The Connecticut SJC Project supports Governor Malloy’s Second Chance Society Initiative to give non-violent offenders an opportunity to become productive members of society and reduce spending on incarceration.

In Connecticut, we have proven you can be both tough on crime while being smart about it,” Governor Malloy said. “We have seen our crime rates drop to a 40 year low while we have reduced our prison population to an all-time low. We are also working to give our non-violent offenders a second chance at a better job, better housing and better opportunities for their family to break the cycle of poverty and crime. We are proud to receive this award because it highlights that Connecticut is on the leading edge for criminal justice reform.”

The Connecticut Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission (CJPAC) serves as the leadership body for the SJC Project.   CJPAC will convene a SJC workgroup to conduct data analysis and system-mapping and prepare an action plan for SJC reform.   The SJC Workgroup includes state and local government agencies as well as community-based non-profit advocacy organizations.

Over the next six months the SJC Workgroup will work in partnership with some of the nation’s leading criminal justice organizations—the Institute for State and Local Governance at the City University of New York, Center for Court Innovation, the Justice Management Institute, Justice System Partners, and the Vera Institute of Justice—to generate actionable plans for reducing incarceration and creating fairer and more effective criminal justice system. The SJC Workgroup will identify who is in jail, why, and whether there are racial or ethnic disparities in jail usage or experience. The Workgroup will explore new approaches and innovations, including alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent low-risk offenders and identify improvements in the pre-trial process. The Project will also explore better ways of targeting resources and assessing risk, to ensure that confinement is used only where necessary while maintaining public safety as a top priority.

The six month planning process will produce a clearly articulated plan for systems change including compelling logic about how unnecessary incarceration will be safely reduced and a realistic implementation plan with measurable and time sensitive goals.  The plan will be submitted to the MacArthur Foundation through their competitive grant program to possibly access $4 million in funding over two years to support evidence-based reform strategies.


Safety and Justice Challenge Press Releases

Governor Malloy Press Release:


Hartford Courant:

State Wins Grant To Help Reduce Jail Population