New drug law leads to fewer people awaiting trial in jail


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Malloy administration says changes in Connecticut’s drug laws have cut in half the number of people in jail awaiting trial for simple drug possession.

The state Office of Policy and Management says there were 83 people in pre-trial detention Wednesday on drug possession charges in Connecticut, down from 166 in October.

Mike Lawlor, the state’s undersecretary for criminal justice policy, says that’s because bails have been much lower since the crime was reclassified on Oct. 1 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Lawlor says the idea is that people arrested for possession need treatment, not prison.

Those still in prison after being sentenced for possession also is down, from 341 in October to 277. Lawlor says most of those were sentenced for crimes committed before the law changed.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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