Republicans Want Conversation on Second Chance Reforms [WFSB]

May 19, 2015


WFSB 3 Connecticut

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – After creating a firestorm at the state Capitol over racially charged comments, Gov. Dannel Malloy continued to push his “Second Chance” bill.

Last week, Malloy criticized republicans for not supporting the bill, and said it was racist to not support it.

On Monday, Malloy campaigned his plan to those who feel it could help break a vicious cycle.

Malloy was in Hartford’s north end taking a lunch break on Monday while campaigning for a bill that would give some criminals a second chance.

“The whole idea is to make people uncomfortable with the idea that you can be treated one way in Avon and a totally different way in Hartford,” Malloy said.

He said he wants to reclassify drug offenses, sending fewer non-violent offenders to prison.

He also said he feels those in the inner cities are unfairly punished because if they get caught with drugs near a school zone, they must go to prison.

Yet, in the densely populated cities, it is almost impossible not to be near a school.

The “Second Chance” bill would create more housing for those after prison, and would help them get jobs and a prison would be turned into a training center.

“It’s very hard for us to get out and get started again,” said Kent Bunckley, who said he has spent time in prison. “I’ve been in jail several times – get out- can’t get no job – nowhere to live.”

Republicans said they want conversation.

“The governor is out there campaigning – I think he should come back to the building and talk to legislators involved and talk about the issue,” said Minority Leader and Republican state Sen. Len Fasano.

While many state Republicans are skeptical about the bill, some Republicans in Congress support it.