HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Monday said that a report released by the state’s criminal justice policy and planning office and underscored by data released this morning from the FBI indicates continued, positive trends in the administration’s efforts to reduce crime in Connecticut. Since the Governor took office in 2011, statistics show that the overall crime in the state has declined 19 percent, including a 19 percent decline in violent crimes.
According to the data, there were 71,883 crimes reported in 2017, which is a two percent drop from the prior year and the lowest level in the state since 1967. The highest year for reported crimes in Connecticut was 1990 when the total was 177,068.
The total number of statewide arrests for all crimes dropped by 41 percent between 2009, when statewide arrests peaked at 138,719, and 2017, when there were 81,408 arrests – a drop of 7.5 percent from 2016. By analyzing recent trends, the criminal justice policy and planning office is projecting that there will likely be about six percent fewer arrests in 2018 than there were in 2017.
“Over the last several years, Connecticut has had a dramatic reduction in violent crime and projections are showing that this trend will continue,” Governor Malloy said. “Recently enacted criminal justice reforms, which were supported by experts from both side of the aisle, are showing real results. In fact, other states are looking to Connecticut as an example of smart policy reforms that are having a positive impact. We have to remember that this data represents real change in our communities – our policies are making our neighborhoods safer while at the same time providing young people who may otherwise get trapped into a cycle of crime the ability to lead successful lives.”
Under Governor Malloy’s leadership, Connecticut reimagined its criminal justice system with a focus on second chances rather than permanent punishment and stigma. This included a modernization of state drug laws; reforming the bail system to focus less on a person’s affluence; raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in light of scientific evidence that young adults are still developing well into their twenties; enhancing the state’s criminal justice data system; providing more support to school districts to stop young people from entering the criminal justice system and beginning a life of crime; and implementing policies that provide incarcerated individuals who are already in the criminal justice system with the tools necessary to lead productive lives and end a cycle of crime.
“Governor Malloy’s comprehensive criminal justice reforms have yielded measurable and sustained improvements in public safety over the past eight years,” Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said. “The collaboration of the state with its local and federal partners is integral to Connecticut’s success. All of the men and women who make up the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection are proud to have had a significant role in these efforts and the realization of its favorable outcomes.”
As crime in the state has dropped, so has the prison population. Since January 2011, the prison population has dropped by 4,097 inmates – a 23 percent decrease. At the same time, the state’s Risk Reduction Earned Credit system is ensuring that high-risk prisoners are serving a greater portion of their original sentence in prison than they previously had been serving.
If current trends continue over the next few years, Connecticut is poised to become the first state in the nation to cut its prison and jail population in half.