Christine Stuart photo
If she had been able to speak to lawmakers Friday LaReese Harvey from A Better Way Foundation would have told them the Department of Corrections is not good at overseeing itself.

But Harvey along with other criminal justice advocates who had planned a rally outside the legislative office building Friday were shut out from moving the rally inside away from the rain.

Lorenzo Jones, another advocate from A Better Way Foundation, gathered advocates in an empty hearing room and helped them formulate plan B. Determined to be heard the group marched down to the Judiciary Committee offices and asked to speak to a legislator, but none were there.

Sally Joughin and Barbara Fair from People Against Injustice questioned a Judiciary Committee clerk about when is the best time to confront lawmakers. They were told legislators are not in the building this late in the session when its not a session day. The clerk suggested Wednesday is a good day since both the House and the Senate are in every Wednesday until June 6.

Fair asked why they weren’t able to get a room. “Is it just semantics that this is the people’s building?” she asked.

She said advocates took time off from their jobs to be at the LOB Friday. She said this discourages people from speaking out.

Joughin said Friday didn’t work out the way they planned, but they’re working toward something better.

Here is a list of bills People Against Injustice supports:

6715: An Act Concerning the Palliative use of Marijuana
To allow seriously ill patients to grow marijuana for their own use, as recommended by a physician in cases where other medical options do not provide sufficient relief.

6285: Juvenile Justice “Raise the Age”
To send most 16- and 17-year-olds accused of crimes to the juvenile system, rather than the adult system, allowing them to receive services focused on youth.

7406: School Zones
To change the drug free zones to 200 feet, rather than 1500 feet, so that they will actually focus on safety of children, rather than applying indiscriminately to every location in cities like New Haven.

903: Lost and Stolen Guns
To require reporting of lost and stolen guns, in order to stop those who are illegally supplying guns to youth and others not permitted to have them.

7407:  Dept of Correction Citizen Advisory Board & Rights of Prisoners with Mental Illness  
Original version: to form an oversight commission including community and legislator members, which will investigate and report on many aspects of the prison system and propose legislation as needed transformed version: oversight replaced by Advisory Group for & selected by the Commissioner of Dept of Correction, and attached to mental health care reforms for prisoners