Connecticut is one of a handful of states that fund and administer jails and other core criminal justice functions at the state rather than the local level. Jails in Connecticut were taking a particularly heavy toll on people of color. The state saw wide racial and ethnic disparities within its population—in New Haven, African Americans made up 33% of the population but 56% of custodial arrests. Similar disparities were found in Bridgeport and Hartford.
Another concern for the state was the average length of pretrial detention, which averaged six weeks. Detention disrupts the lives of people’s families and communities. It leads to higher re-arrest rates and produces worse case outcomes, including future episodes of being held in jail.