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Rehabilitation and Reentry

"Banning the Box": New CT Law to Stop Discrimination Against Ex-Prisoners Based Solely on their Criminal Record

Last week, the Connecticut Senate unanimously voted to enact HB 5207, which prevents discrimination against ex-prisoners based solely on their criminal record. In March, the Connecticut House of Representatives also voted unanimously in favor of the bill. The new law will prohibit state government employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal record until the applicant has been deemed qualified for the position. It will provide similar standards for those seeking state licenses and certifications for trades or vocations.

Will Budget Deficits Result in Much-Needed Prison Reform?

With deficits mounting and a court order requiring the end of prison over-crowding, the California Assembly has passed a scaled-back version of a Senate prison reform plan that would reduce the state's bloated prison population by 27,000 and save $1 billion. However, the plan falls short of the needed $1.2 billion in cuts mandated by lawmakers' state budget agreement and fails to fully comply with a court order that California reduce its prison population by 43,000 inmates because of overcrowding and unconstitutionally-low levels of prisoner services.