Criminal justice reform advocates are trying to spark a larger conversation regarding the role race and poverty play in experience with the justice system. In Hartford recently, a dialogue took place between lawyers, public officials, and community stakeholders, including formerly incarcerated individuals. The panel, featuring Peter Edelman, author of Not a Crime to Be Poor, was convened by Everyday Democracy and the Poverty, Criminal Justice and Race Collaborative of CT.
Guests at the Hartford event watched the Equal Justice Initiative video “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration” and were engaged in a conversation that lifted awareness of implicit bias and how it impacts decision making for the poor and people of color. Leaving the event, guests were asked to make person commitments to help bring about change, “One Person One Action.”
The Collaborative hopes to inspire similar conversations across the state. The Poverty, Criminal Justice and Race Collaborative of CT is a coalition of activists and educators that includes the following organizations: ACLU Smart Justice Connecticut; Capital Community College, Community Capacity Builders, Community Solutions, City of Hartford, the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice and Phoenix Association and Everyday Democracy.