The Origins of The Justice Education Center’s Policy and Programming Initiatives
The Justice Education Center, Inc. has been dedicated to policymaker and public education in justice reform. This commitment has manifested itself in a number of statewide campaigns, including two documentaries on the role of incarceration and community-based sanctions in justice policy, a live 90 minute special on child sexual abuse, an incarceration simulation for Connecticut General Assembly members at the Old Haddam Jail, and a series of seminars for electronic and print media on key criminal justice topics in partnership with the Connecticut Humanities Council, among other initiatives.
The Justice Education Center has contributed to numerous reforms in Connecticut, starting with the development of the Department of Correction’s first statewide advocacy coalition and network of intervention services in 1976. This public/private partnership was created by the late Commissioner John Manson and Deputy Commissioner Lawrence Albert.
In 1987, under the leadership of Chief Justice Ellen Peters, The Center staffed the Criminal Sanctions Task Force which developed a vision for sentencing reform and the expansion of community-based sentencing options. Justice Peters’ vision served as the foundation for the statewide network of juvenile and adult community-based sanctions still in place today.
In the 1990’s, working with the first Director of the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division, William Carbone, The Center helped to design and study the impact of Connecticut’s nationally-recognized system of services and supervision for juvenile and adults.
In the early 2000’s, The Justice Education Center staffed several State commissions addressing juvenile justice and racial and ethnic disparity reform.
Nationally, The Justice Education Center’s Executive Director served as advisor and planner with the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections, providing training to justice professionals in constituency-building, marketing, media relations and community outreach. In Connecticut, numerous statewide trainings have been held that focus on prevention and intervention policies and programming for juveniles and young adults.
Policymaker and Public Education
Throughout its history, The Center created numerous education and outreach campaigns, among them: two documentaries on the role of community-based sanctions in justice policy reform hosted by the late Raymond Burr; a live 90 minute special on child sexual abuse; an incarceration simulation experience for Connecticut General Assembly members at the Old Haddam Jail; and, a series of seminars for electronic and print media on key criminal justice reporting issues in partnership with the Connecticut Humanities Council and hosted by the late Fred Friendly, retired president of CBS News.
It is our hope that our past programming, policy and education efforts will continue to inform and strengthen The Center’s ongoing work to steadily improve Connecticut’s system of justice and the communities it serves.
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