CT Justice Alliance revisits #InvestInMeCT campaign to announce findings

'Invest in Me' program helps youth
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:22 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) - The Connecticut Justice Alliance revisited its #InvestInMeCT Campaign, two years after its initial launch, with the release of an addendum to the original report.

A news conference kicked off shortly after 10:15 a.m. on Monday at Burroughs Community Center.

The Connecticut Justice Alliance revisited its #InvestInMeCT Campaign, two years after its initial launch, with the release of an addendum to its report.

Launched in June 2020, the #InvestInMeCT Campaign sought to reduce the number of system-involved youth by addressing the root causes of youth criminalization. It aimed to build opportunity-rich communities where all youth and families could access the resources needed to succeed.

The CTJA said the addendum to the report “End the Criminalization of Youth: Address the Root” compiled two years of Vision Sessions CTJA held and explored what it found across the state.

“Investing in police, investing in incarceration, that only causes more trauma and damage to communities and then asking why certain things happen,” said Christina Quaranta with the Connecticut Justice Alliance.

With crime rising, during the pandemic, advocates say you can’t arrest your way out it.

“Asking and calling on people in power, calling on people in our community to focus on the root causes and not focus on punitive solutions that are knee jerk reactions to things and situations people don’t want to be in in the first place,” said Claudine Constant with the ACLU of Connecticut.

They want the state and cities to focus on why young people are committing crimes, which they say in turn can help prevent them from getting locked up.

“So we’re talking about problems in education, problems in the legal system, problems in food access, all of the things that need to be addressed and instead session after session, most legislators have chosen to criminalize young people and make it easier to hold them in detention,” said Quaranta.

They point to housing, jobs, opportunities, and building trust as some of the key steps.

“If we don’t invest in young people, if we don’t invest in families, if we don’t invest in communities, we’re doing the wrong thing, we’re making the wrong choice. Without investment there is no success,” Quaranta said.

The alliance will hold what they describe as vision sessions this week.

The first one is Tuesday in New Haven, then in Norwalk and Waterbury on Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information, click here.