The Justice Imperative Urges All Citizens to Rethink Our Criminal Justice System

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Robinson+Cole lawyer Brian Moran authors book suggesting reforms that Connecticut can make to improve its criminal justice system and save taxpayer dollars.

Brian Moran

Brian E. Moran

The U.S. is home to only 4.6 percent of the world’s population but has become the world’s leading jailer, housing 22.4 percent of its inmates.

How can we stem the tide of the rapidly growing prison population in the U.S. and actually effect change on the individuals sent into our correctional systems? This is the question Brian E. Moran and the Malta Justice Initiative tackle in the new book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream.

The statistics around the prison population in the U.S., and Connecticut specifically, are eye-opening. As discussed in The Justice Imperative, the U.S., home to only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, has become the world’s leading jailer, housing 22.4 percent of its inmates. In Connecticut, the prison population has soared from 3,800 in 1980 to almost 17,000 in January 2014. Over 95 percent of Connecticut’s prisoners are eventually released, most without the necessary supervision and skills to succeed on the outside. Well over half end up back in prison. Annual spending on prisons now exceeds $1 billion, at $51,000 per year to house each inmate.

Despite the increasing rate of incarceration and huge sums of money pouring into the correctional system, there has been a negligible impact on public safety. The research referenced in the book suggests that this is because much of the prison population today is the result of policies created during the war on drugs in the 1980s, causing an explosive growth in the number of nonviolent drug offenders given jail time.

The Justice Imperative looks at the current state of Connecticut’s criminal justice and correctional systems and examines whether policy and enforcement initiatives remain effective, or sustainable, in view of their staggering monetary and human cost. The book outlines 30 specific reforms for Connecticut’s legislative and executive branches to consider in an effort to “right-size” Connecticut’s prisons. The reforms look to less costly, more effective, and more humane alternatives derived from examples seen in other states and other countries.

Authored by Robinson+Cole lawyer Brian E. Moran, the book is the result of a collaborative, bipartisan coalition of businesspeople, correctional professionals, legislators, judges, law enforcement professionals, lawyers, ministers, and academics in Connecticut. The book was supported by Robinson+Cole’s pro bono program.

It is available for purchase on here.

Brian E. Moran is a partner at Robinson+Cole who handles a variety of commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis on antitrust, intellectual property, and licensing disputes. He has co-written two business books, The Executive’s Antitrust Guide to Pricing: Understanding Implications of Typical Marketing, Distribution and Pricing Practices (2013), published by Thomson Reuters, and e-counsel: The Executive’s Legal Guide to Electronic Commerce (2000).

About the Malta Justice Initiative
Prison ministry is the core mission of the Malta Justice Initiative. The organization provides support, including visitation and instruction, to the incarcerated to help them lead faith-focused and productive lives. The Malta Justice Initiative is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, subject to general oversight by the Order of Malta. The Order of Malta—technically The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta—is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. Today, it carries out its charitable works in over 120 countries and does so without regard for religion, race, gender, or national origin.

More about Robinson+Cole

Robinson+Cole is a service mark of Robinson & Cole LLP, an Am Law 200 firm with 200 lawyers in nine offices serving regional, national, and international clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Since 1845, Robinson & Cole LLP has expanded to meet the changing needs of clients. The firm represents corporate, governmental, and nonprofit entities, as well as individual clients, in a wide range of matters, including corporate; business and insurance litigation; tax and tax-exempt; finance; public finance; land use, environmental and utilities, and real estate; health law; labor, employment, and benefits; intellectual property and technology; and government relations. For more information, please visit

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Jessica Gagnon
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