M.O.R.E. Better Lemar

Melissa Bailey Photo Project M.O.R.E., the city’s leading alternative-justice program, named New Haven state Rep. Roland Lemar its legislator of the year.

The state contracts with the Grand Avenue organization to run programs—outside prison—to help convicts straighten out there lives. It works with people out on jail on bail, parole and probation. Under the longtime direction of its late director, Warren Kimbro, it began a nationally recognized model for alternatives to incarceration.

The group gave Lemar (pictured endorsing Toni Harp’s mayoral campaign last November) the honor Thursday at its first annual awards banquet, held at the Country House on Route 80. The organization also honored its founders as well as community organizers and humanitarians, clergy.

Lemar’s work on Project M.OR.E.‘s concerns includes pushing for more job-training money for the recently released offenders and reduced sentences for petty crimes. As a New Haven alder (then known as an “alderman”), he co-sponsored a “ban the box” bill to give ex-offenders a better shot at landing jobs and worked on the creation of a prison reentry program.

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