Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “Rolling Boulders Uphill: Rethinking Reentry Wage and Policy Barriers Will Benefit Connecticut’s Communities and Economy.” The report focuses on employment options for people with criminal legal system involvement seeking to reenter the workforce during a period of low unemployment and worker shortages nationwide. In publishing this report, we hope to help policymakers make decisions regarding reentry programs and policies.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “2023 Legislative Summary.” The document provides a high-level review of the bills our organization supported this session. While a number of other bills passed both chambers of the General Assembly, and countless others were proposed, it’s important to note that this document only includes the bills that we submitted testimony on during the public hearing process and/or tracked from the beginning to the end. Each section enumerates these bills in numerical order, starting with House bills then Senate bills. Lastly, we want to acknowledge that our successes are a result of deep community partnership with values-aligned people, organizations and coalitions who showed up every week in myriad ways this legislative session. Although there are too many to name—you know who you are—THANK YOU.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “The 2022 Candidate Briefing Book.” Designed to provide a snapshot of helpful research and data for Connecticut residents and candidates running for political office this election cycle, this document lays the foundation for what we’re calling the Connecticut Families Plan, which we first mentioned in January of 2022. Due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our health and economy these past two-plus years, this “Book” should be viewed in tandem with our Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022, which was published in July of 2020.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “Rising Out of Recession: How Connecticut Can Support Young Adults Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System in Challenging Economic Times,” which examines the obstacles in employment, education, and housing faced by young adults transition out of the child welfare system; the supports made available to help them achieve independent living; gaps that exist and that have been potentially exacerbated by the current pandemic; and model policies and programs from other states. We also provide six recommendations on how Connecticut policymakers can support transition-age youth in foster care and former foster youth to live securely and independently. This report is being published in conjunction with our 10th Youth At the Capitol Day (YACD) event.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “Protecting or Pushing Out: The Prevalence and Impact of School Resource Officers in Connecticut,” which finds evidence that SROs increased exclusionary discipline for students of color, and failed to find evidence that SROs make schools safer. The report is particularly significant in that it helps grow the limited literature on the impact of SROs in Connecticut. To support the state create safer and more equitable schools for Connecticut’s children the report outlines eight recommendations.
The Connecticut General Assembly passed an historic budget and accompanying policies this legislative session. While we are disappointed that fair revenue measures to correct our regressive tax system were not passed, we celebrate the increase of the state EITC to 30.5%, inclusive state CTC language should Congress not enact a permanent expansion, and a plethora of policies that advance economic justice. As is our custom, we’ve laid out our take in our “2021 Legislative Session in Review.“
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “More Than a Health Crisis: Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Connecticut Youth and Families,” which analyzes the impact of the pandemic on employment, basic needs, and education and outlines the necessity of prioritizing the safety and stability of Connecticut’s youth and families in the state’s recovery planning to avoid long-term economic harm. In order to understand the severity of the pandemic-induced recession on Connecticut’s youth and families, the report examines data collected between August 19, 2020 and March 1, 2021 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Surveys and compares the data against national trends. The report enumerates six overarching recommendations.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report with the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School (CJAC) that examines the collateral consequences of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) on children with incarcerated parents. The report, “Incarcerated Parents and Termination of Parental Rights in Connecticut: Recommendations for Reform,” examines the unintended impacts of ASFA, a federal law passed in 1997 that shifted the goal of child-protection policy from family preservation to adoption, and outlines 18 recommendations to protect parental rights and promote the welfare of children with incarcerated parents.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “Reduce, Reinvest, and Do Right: A Model to Estimate Savings from Reducing Connecticut’s Youth Detention, Invest in Nonprofit Community Organizations, and Help Communities Thrive,” that examines the marginal daily cost of keeping youth in detention and recommends ways for the state to reduce the use of detention and invest associated funds in nonprofit services that work to reduce youth crime rates. The report contains three key analyses: 1) the variable cost of keeping one youth in detention for one day, 2) the statewide and within-city costs of operating nonprofit community organizations shown to reduce crime rates, and 3) estimates anticipated crime reduction for adding nonprofit community organizations in Connecticut’s five largest cities. The report also includes recommendations that are classified into three main areas: 1) to decrease the use of detention, 2) to invest funding such that Connecticut reduces arrests and serves communities, and 3) to improve the transparency of justice costs.
Connecticut Voices for Children released their Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022. Versions of this document have been developed throughout the 25 years of the organization’s history. As the state experiences the convergence of a health crisis, an economic recession due to that crisis, and a contentious and long-overdue conversation on race, the “Book” has been refreshed given Voices’ new, strategic aim toward economic justice and these unprecedented times. The Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022 is designed to be a starting point for shared knowledge around the research and recommendations that are fundamental to family economic security and the undergirding fiscal and economics, with the hope of advancing shared action.