Social Justice Research and Policy Lunch & Learn

The Social Justice Research and Initiative Lunch & Learn Series is an opportunity for all interested in the advancement of equitable and just public policy in the state of Connecticut to engage in dialogue and learn about ongoing research and policy initiatives in the State.

Students, staff, and faculty are all welcome to attend. Seminars are held the first Wednesday of every month from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.

Seminars will be hosted in-person in the Hartford Times Building and online via Zoom

Lunch Provided

Spring 2023 Seminars

Wednesday, May 03, 2023, 12-1PM – HTB 209
Justice, Humanity, and Rehabilitation: Best Practices from Abroad
Andrew Clark (Director, Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy), Presenter

Until the early 90s and 2000s, Norwegian correctional facilities were run much like their American counterparts. Norway overhauled its prison system through a commitment to human rights, high standards and reinvention, resulting in a system prioritizing rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The result is a correctional service that produces greater societal safety than most countries in the world, both for incarcerated individuals and those working with them. Andrew Clark will address lessons from Norway and discuss changes the U.S. could make to center humanity and rehabilitation in our justice system.


Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 12-1PM – HTB 216
Investigating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Traffic Enforcement – CT Racial Profiling Prohibition Project (CTRP3)
Ken Barone (Associate Director, Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy), Presenter

Every year, there are approximately 550,000 traffic stops in Connecticut. CTRP3 works with the state's 94 municipal police departments, Connecticut State Police, and other special police agencies to identify racial and ethnic disparities through data collection and statistical analysis. Ken Barone will give an overview of how CTRP3 analyze data, bring together community stakeholders, and law enforcement to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities in traffic enforcement.


Wednesday, April 05, 2023, 12-1PM – HTB 216
Pretrial Justice Reform – CT Sentencing Commission
Alex Tsarkov (Executive Director, Connecticut Sentencing Commission), Presenter

Recently, a wave of advocacy and litigation efforts have created national momentum for rethinking how pretrial decisions are made. Several jurisdictions have moved away from money bail or eliminated it entirely. Yet, efforts to reform the pretrial justice system have proved slow and difficult. This leaves jurisdictions with the question of what is the best way forward to achieve greater pretrial justice. Alex Tsarkov will address successes and challenges in pretrial justice reform nationally and in Connecticut.


Wednesday, March 01, 2023, 12-1PM – HTB 209
Impact of Incarceration on Children and Families – Children with Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative
Aileen Keays (Senior Project Manager, Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative), Presenter

1 in 14 children in the United States have had a parent who has lived with them go to jail or prison. It is estimated that a child experiences a parental arrest more than 62,000 times annually in Connecticut alone. Children with incarcerated parents face the collateral consequences of a broken justice system and suffer lasting effects on their health and wellbeing. In this talk, Aileen Keays will discuss how the Children with Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative strategically works to improve the quality of supports for children with incarcerated parents through independent research, public policy and practice development, community engagement, and education.


Wednesday, February 01, 2023, 12-1PM – HTB 216
Justice Reinvestment in CT: Where are we Now?
Andrew Clark (Director, Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy), Presenter

In 2004, Connecticut became the first state in the country to enact bipartisan Justice Reinvestment legislation to address its rapidly rising prison population and shift the state’s approach to reducing crime to evidence-based models and practices. Join us for a status update and informed discussion on criminal justice policies and practices in Connecticut, with particular focus on how the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy has developed the work stemming from Justice Reinvestment initiatives in the state through developing fair, effective, and just public policy through applied research and community engagement.