Thursday, November 05, 2015


Matthew K. Poland
Chief Executive Officer


Hartford, Connecticut (November 3, 2015)—On November 18 at 6:00PM, Hartford Public Library will present “Ready for Freedom? Life after Prison in Connecticut”, an exploration of the challenges that incarcerated individuals face upon their release from prison and the resources available to prepare them for life “on the outside”. A panel discussion will feature formerly incarcerated individuals, Connecticut prison system and judicial officials, and representatives of organizations that assist with the transition to life after incarceration.

Veteran investigative journalist Andy Thibault will serve as moderator and panel participants will include Scott Semple, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Correction, Deborah Rogala, Program Operations Director at Community Partners in Action, Robert J. Devlin, Jr., Chief Connecticut Criminal Court Judge, and Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, incarcerated for 27 ½ years and granted clemency in 2013 after appeals and a review of her case initiated by the persistence of Thibault.

In July of this year, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law the “Second Chance Society” bill, designed to help reduce the state's prison population and “ensure nonviolent offenders are successfully reintegrated into society”. Malloy explained that "the cycle our system currently encourages is one of permanent punishment that hurts too many families and communities. When we should have been focusing on permanent reform, we focused on permanent punishment. For too long, we built modern jails instead of modern schools”.

“The Ready for Freedom discussion will mirror the themes of the Library’s ONE BOOK ONE HARTFORD selection this year, James Baldwin’s novel ‘IF Beale Street Could Talk’, in which a young man’s incarceration deeply affects two families,” said Hartford Public Library chief executive officer Matt Poland. And, of course, Governor Malloy’s “Second Chance Society” presents a practical way forward for many and hope for life after prison”.

Other participants will include Gary Roberge, Director of Adult Probation and Bail Services, State of Connecticut, the Rev. Jeff Grant, Director of the Progressive Prison Project, and Robin Cullen, of Color Outside the Lines, an organization that facilitates groups in prisons and community outreach programs.

Copies of Andy Thibault’s latest publication, More Cool Justice, will be available for purchase.

As a finalist for the 2014 National Medal from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Hartford Public Library has been recognized as national leader in redefining the urban public library in the 21st century as an innovative and stimulating place where people can learn and discover, explore their passions and find a rich array of resources that contribute to a full life. Hartford Public Library provides free resources that inspire reading, guide learning, and encourage individual exploration. Serving the residents of Hartford and beyond at its nine branches and Downtown location, Hartford Public Library receives more than 860,000 visits per year from adults, children and families seeking early literacy opportunities, work skills training, civic engagement, arts enrichment, and so much more. Please visit


  • Sunday, November 01, 2015

    Javier Flores big fight upcoming in DC; trained several years ago in Middletown, CT

  • Fight Night comes back swinging, plans to go the distance and hit $5M

  • My dream is to give my kids the best, for them to have a good father, and to be recognized in boxing as one of the best in Puerto Rican boxing history. I want my kids to be proud of me as a fighter for his family.”

    Undefeated Welterweight Javier Flores takes on Jamie Herrera Nov. 5, 2015
    for the WBC United States Welterweight Championship

  • Story via

  • 2012 report, Flores on the way up

    Cool Justice: The Quiet Man, Javier ‘El Chino’ Flores, Lives to Fight
    Friday, November 2, 2012
    By Andy Thibault
    @cooljustice on Twitter

    Several boxers lose their focus and pause at the sound of Javier “El Chino” Flores popping the mitts off his trainer, “Iceman” John Scully.

    He’s hitting faster and harder. The fierce economy of his punch generates loud pops. They snap, crackle and boom. They detonate. Flores gets the leverage. His straight lefts and uppercuts target the solar plexus and the nose as Scully feints and moves laterally, forward and backward, positioning the padded gloves as targets for his pupil.

    “I know I don’t want to get hit with a punch like that,” said Scully, who also trained the reigning Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and is himself a former light heavyweight contender.

    Flores, 26, grew up poor in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. While training at the Lions Den in Middletown, he lives with his manager, Jose Colon, in Manchester. Undefeated professionally as a welterweight – 146 pounds – the 5’ 9” southpaw has scored seven knockouts. He won about half his 70-some amateur bouts by knockout.

    “My dream,” Flores said, “is to give my kids the best, for them to have a good father, and to be recognized in boxing as one of the best in Puerto Rican boxing history. I want my kids to be proud of me as a fighter for his family.”

    Dominic Sansone, 19, a student at the Torrington campus of the University of Connecticut, is a frequent sparring partner of Flores. This is a calling that even seasoned pros flee to avoid.

    “He’s got a lot of power, definitely,” said Sansone, who is about the same height and weighs 165 pounds. “I took a straight body shot and I dropped to catch my breath. He’s dropped two other guys that way.”

    A big-time promoter, Gary Shaw, recently signed Flores to a contract. This means that as long as he racks up victories, Flores is on a path that could lead to the fulfillment of his dream. Of course the odds for this happening are not very good, even for someone with the talent and backing of Flores.

    “I never say a guy’s gonna become a world champion because I know what the world is like,” Scully said. “But, Javier could be … he is a huge competitor.

    “When he lands his shots,” Scully continued, “they feel it. And they don’t like it. He’s really humble, ridiculously humble. It’s hard to believe how powerful he is. He listens. Some guys pick and choose what they listen to. He listens to everything.”

    Scully started training Flores in September, right after Dawson lost a super middleweight championship bout to Andre Ward. His goals for Flores in 2013 include fighting at least four times and appearing as a main event on ESPN. Flores said he’s ready to fight seven or eight times next year.

    “His demeanor,” Scully said, “reminds me of Sammy Vega [a former 7-time national amateur champion from Hartford]. People thought Sammy was too nice to box, how could he ever hurt anyone?”

    In between bouts, Flores goes back home to Puerto Rico to be with his son, Javier Jr., 5, and his daughter, Yaneiriz, 3. He started boxing as an amateur at age 13, then took a few years off.

    “When I found out I was going to be a father, I decided to return and everything went well,” Flores said. “With the love I get from the public, I knew this was for me.”

    He admires two boxers in particular: “I like Felix Trinidad for his humbleness and his punch. I like Mike Tyson for his heart and his rage.”

    POSTSCRIPT: As part of the HBO Boxing After Dark triple-header on Saturday, Oct. 27, Javier Flores went toe-to-toe with Alberto “Baby Dynamite” Herrera of Riverside, CA in a challenging eight-round slugfest, winning a majority decision and improving his record to 8-0. The event was held at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. It’s possible Flores will fight one more time before year’s end.

    Andy Thibault is a contributing editor for Journal Register Co.’s Connecticut publications and the author of Law & Justice In Everyday Life. He formerly served as a commissioner for Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission. Reach Thibault by email at Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.

  • 2012 Flores column won SPJ honorable mention