Former state Sen. Ernie Newton was at the state Capitol complex to let people know just how difficult it is for convicted criminals to live a normal life after leaving jail — a problem he knows about first hand.

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Ernie Newton testifies

Newton served a four-year prison sentence after being convicted of corruption.

His bid to be re-elected to the Senate this year was unsuccessful.

Newton was at the Capitol complex to testify on a proposal being considered by the Connecticut Sentencing Committee that attempts to remove the housing and employment barriers that those released from prison face because of their criminal backgrounds.

“When a person comes out of prison and he wants to re-engage him or herself in society, they are met with resistance,” he said. “Being an ex-felon is almost discriminatory. Everywhere you go, the door is closed on you.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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