Michael Lawlor

Associate Professor, University of New Haven

Mike Lawlor is a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice reform which was a major focus of his 24 years as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and as former Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning in the Office of Policy and Management.

Elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1986 representing East Haven’s 99th district, he chaired the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011, taking a leadership role in a wide variety of criminal justice reforms, including a law that established rights for crime victims.

Lawlor authored the 1999 Connecticut Red Flag Gun law, the first state in the country to pass this law and now considered a national model for preventing mass shootings.

He was a founding board member of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and he’s served on numerous national criminal justice reform commissions. He also led the push for legislation that made Connecticut the second state in the nation to pass a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.