The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System was created by the Connecticut state legislature in 2000 (Public Act 00-154). The stated purpose of that act was “to establish a commission dedicated to eliminating racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system.” During the 2015 legislative session, the Commission’s membership and charge were slightly modified with the passage of Public Act 15-109.
The Commission benefits from the diversity of its membership and the leadership of its Chair, Justice Lubbie Harper, Jr. Since Justice Harper’s appointment in 2006, the Commission has addressed such topics as juvenile justice and the prevention of juvenile entry into the criminal justice system, implicit bias, youth-police programming, access to justice, and jury instruction, to name a few.
The Commission has hosted a series of remarkable events, bringing to Connecticut such experts as Charles Ogletree, Marc Mauer, Jerry Kang and Rachel Godsil.
The Commission meets every other month at Hartford Community Court. For meeting agendas and minutes, please visit the Commission Meetings page. For a list of members, please view the Commission Members tab.