Lawmakers and lawyers scratch their heads over Lamont’s comments on youth crime – NBC Connecticut


Governor Ned Lamont stood on the Capitol steps with the family of a 14-year-old who died and pledged to fight crime, but what exactly was he proposing?

“I’m not sure exactly what the message is,” said Senator Gary Winfield, co-chair of the legislature’s judicial committee.

Lamont’s press conference with the family has left lawmakers and advocates scratching their heads.

“I don’t think stopping them all – just putting them in jail will solve the problem because we haven’t dealt with the things that put them in this space,” Winfield said.

Lamont was standing with Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella and the family of the 14-year-old. He left without answering any questions.

State Police have identified a 14-year-old from Hamden who died after being shot and dropped off at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.

NBC Connecticut met with the governor on Friday to see if we could get a better response.

“We are hiring more judges, more community police services, we are hiring more police officers and doing everything we can to help these kids get on the right track,” Lamont said.

But what does he plan to do?

“As far as the judges, the police, the social services are concerned, we are already doing it, so I think it’s settled,” says Lamont.

Republican lawmakers have been raising this question for months.

“I think the governor’s remarks boil down to his tact. Blame the police. Blame the judges when in fact it was the Democrats and the policies he enacted that created this problem, ”said House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora R-North Branford.

But how can Lamont fix the problem?

“Unless you call us in session, I don’t know how he could accomplish these reforms. ”

But advocates say they need to focus on why young people turn to crime.

“Gun violence is a crazy problem for us in our communities,” says Jordyn Wilson of the Connecticut Justice Alliance. “Auto theft is a major issue for us in our community right now. And we’re not saying young people shouldn’t be held accountable. But we should intentionally take a look at what’s going on to make these kids have rap sheets your arm’s length. ”

Wilson says they need to stop talking and start doing something.

“We really need to start investing in our children and in the services that we know are working. When you know that incarceration is not. When we know punitive measures don’t, ”Wilson says.

Lamont says he’s not recalling lawmakers in special session.

“But I’m going to sit down with the legislative leaders and see what else they think would make a difference in the lives of these kids,” Lamont said.

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