Former Solo Finds Satisfaction In Government Work
She also represented several plaintiffs who challenged "improper responses from the state." Some of those plaintiffs included victims of sexual assault whose records were made available to the public. As a result of those lawsuits, she worked to create a new policy to protect such records. "I represented the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services agency for over 20 years, and in that role, I was an advocate for creating policies to make sure privacy rights of victims were proteced," Mills said.
Unique among state agencies, OPM provides staff assistance to the governor as well as having oversight of agency activities. The Malloy administrated has emphasized the collection and analysis of data in making policy decisions. But that's been a challenge, as OPM's staff has been cut from about 275 employees to 140 over the past 15 years.
So the goal, said Mills, is to do more for less, which is why part of her mission is to build a working relationships with college professors. "My charge is to establish the capacity for the state to share its data with legislative committees," she said. "I'll be looking to obtain high quality data analyis and evaluation from applied researchers in academia."
Mills said one project might entail looking into why more people are being held in state jails after they have been charged with a crime, but before they are convicted or sentenced.
But criminal justice is one of the many areas in which OPM performs research. Mills is interested in exploring other topics.
Speaking hypothetically, she noted the debate about stem cell reseach in the state. "We might talk to economists who are able to give us a forcaste and make some informed, data driven analysis of whether stem cell research is a smart investment for the state to get involved in," Mills said. "I am very excited to be part of an effort to study ways to improve the state."•