WHO WE ARE
Over the past decade, Connecticut has emerged as a pioneer in prison reform efforts. Elected officials, community leaders and advocates collectively shared a vision to reduce the incarceration rate while making communities safer and families stronger. As a result, thousands of returning citizens are now working, paying taxes and reunified with their families. Their journey towards redemption epitomizes the fragility of the American Dream. Unfortunately, for many of these men and women their triumphs often become a footnote in society as they are celebrated in obscurity.
Therefore, the goal is to create a public forum that acknowledges the growth and accomplishments of the formerly incarcerated through the creation of the first ever of its kind, The Connecticut Hall of Change. Upon returning home many of these individuals embarked on a restorative quest for redemption as they sought to improve the very neighborhoods they once violated. As a result, they have become a living testimony to the enduring human spirit of both forgiveness and hope. It is imperative that this transformation be shared with others, for their success is both diversionary and inspirational.
Connecticut’s Hang Time Organization in partnership with with State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, Career Resources, The Arts, Preservation & Museums at DECD for the State of Connecticut and the Re-Entry Collaboratives of Connecticut, along with other vested groups, we have initiated commemoration of four men and four women annually. Their stories and photos will tour as a mobile exhibit throughout the state with stops at local libraries, colleges, universities and city halls. While the primary goal is to recognize and reward success the secondary goal is to foster a dialogue around mass incarceration. Therefore, the mobile Hall of Change will feature a speaker’s bureau composed of the formerly incarcerated. These individuals will chat informally with visitors and serve as the living proof of redemption.
This unique project was created by Hang Time’s founder Charles Grady and will launch in Spring 2020. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and New Haven Mayor Elect Justin Elicker have teamed up to assist in the launch of this first of its kind statewide project.
The goal of Hang Time is to enlighten, educate, entertain, de-conflict and problem-solve through discussion. It seeks to provide specific ex-offenders and group/gang members diagnosed and yet to be diagnosed with post and/or current traumatic stress disorder a choice in mental health treatment while also helping them navigate social services. Hang Time currently operates in Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury.
WHAT WE DO
As of today, this is the first traveling exhibit to honor and celebrate the transformative lives of the formerly incarcerated. This unique and salient exhibition will layer the photographs and voices of these men and women with story-telling, art-making, and intimate conversation that fosters connections. The proposed Hall of Change will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for justice reform efforts as it promotes community healing and the importance of a second chance.