Op-Ed: Connecting more people to work in Greater New Haven

Many Connecticut residents, particularly those who identify as racial or ethnic minorities or who live in historically-disadvantaged neighborhoods, face astonishingly high unemployment rates. In New Haven, unemployment ranges from 3 percent in high-income neighborhoods such as Westville and East Rock, to 20 percent in low- income neighborhoods such as Dixwell, Newhallville, and the Hill — and “underemployment” rates are often twice these figures.

Op-ed: FOI advocate’s passion overrides his judgment on victims’ welfare

Garvin G. Ambrose
During the nearly six months spent working zealously on the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know, I developed a sincere level of respect and appreciation for the passion that James Smith displayed for the Freedom of Information laws.  It is regretful, however, that his passion continues to cloud his sense of reason and understanding.  The tunnel vision that is depicted in this nonsensical rhetoric of an Op-ed from May 8, 2014, is unfortunate for a man of such distinguished character. In fact, a simple, thorough reading of the press release cited by Mr. Smith makes clear to everyone that “[t]he commission will not examine any provisions related to Connecticut’s freedom of information laws, but instead will focus on the direct relationship between victims’ rights and the criminal justice system as a whole.”

While Mr. Smith continues to concentrate on a moot issue, those of us who are concerned about the overall well-being of crime victims in the state of Connecticut have been able to shift our focus to other pressing issues.  Issues such as: the failure of judges to issue written orders of restitution for crime victims; the lack of notice to crime victims of court proceedings and opportunities to address the court regarding plea bargain agreements and at sentencing; the lack of adequate private meeting space in courthouses for family violence victim advocates and victims; the lack of adequate numbers of court victim advocates through the Judicial Branch; and other aspects of the criminal justice system as it relates to victims of crime and their constitutional and statutory rights.