Sen. Kelly, Formica & Kissel on Need to Address Rising Crime

August 10, 2021

HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) and Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, released the following joint statement regarding proposals on juvenile crime reforms offered by House Republicans today:


“This package offers multiple ideas on how to strengthen the state’s response to juvenile crimes including removing barriers to services that can make a big difference in the lives of young people and reduce their return to crime. This is clearly one piece of the conversation that needs to continue with all perspectives and that must lead to action.


“Senate Republicans are meeting with advocates, police chiefs and stakeholders across the state to discuss solutions to a wide range of issues related to crime. Connecticut’s crime issues also involve adult offenders and a historic level of violence in our cities. New Haven’s homicide rate is up 66.7 percent so far this year. Hartford is on pace for one of its deadliest years in decades. We must get to the root causes of crime, including a lack of opportunity. Connecticut is dead last in job growth and income growth. Democrats in power and those who have controlled our cities have not delivered on their promises to lift families up and out of poverty. Residents in our cities have been over victimized for far too long. We need action. We need to make people feel safe. And we also need a long-term strategy to divert people away from crime before someone takes the first step down that road. We must confront the Democrats’ poor economy head on, create jobs and opportunity, ensure the right supports and early intervention are in place, and support communities by empowering residents. And when people refuse to reform, the system must hold them accountable and keep them off the streets. Democrat criminal justice reforms over the last few years have lessened public safety, reduced the ability of police to protect the public and have allowed repeat offenders to offend again often threatening cities and their residents most. Five cities in Connecticut make up 16% of Connecticut’s population, but over 1/3 of crime occurs within those urban areas. Democrats have failed our cities and their residents.


“These conversations must be broader than what Democrats have tried to limit them to. And they must involve the community, the advocates, the police, the judicial system, the service providers, and, most importantly, the victims.”