S.B. 259, Reforming Drug Free School Zones

Connecticut: S.B. 259, Reforming Drug Free School Zones

Drug Free School Zones in Connecticut are in place because of a law from more than a quarter century ago. The intent of these laws is to place schools, day-care centers and public housing complexes in a protected zone in order to deter would-be criminals from plying their trade near these protected zones.

Keeping criminals and drug dealers from being near schools, public housing and day-care centers is a reasonable policy – this isn’t the issue. The problem in Connecticut is that in some urban areas, nearly entire cities are considered “drug free zones”. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, a public policy think tank based in New England, 94% of Hartford’s residents, 93% of New Haven’s residents, and 92% of Bridgeport residents live in areas covered by a sentencing enhancement zone.

We support enacting the recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission – reducing the drug free zones from 1500 feet (nearly a quarter mile) to 200 feet, as well as putting into place clear guidelines to differentiate between people who are just passing through these zones and those who have “intent to violate” the drug free zones.

Let your representative know that you support Senate Bill 259, by filling in the fields below. This bill would amend the drug free zone law and create a more sensible policy for Connecticut. The full text of the bill can be found here.

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