(photo) Suzio: Malloy’s early release program for violent offenders is “a failure”

March 20, 2017

Suzio: End Early Release for Violent CT Criminals
Says Program Stats Show “Revolving Door” for Violent Felons
“A Murder Per Month”
Sen. Len Suzio and advocates for victims of violent crime on Mar. 20 touted Suzio’s legislative proposal to reform Connecticut’s Risk Reduction Earned Credit (RREC) program.

Joined by former executive director of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles John Lahda and Hartford Police Union President Sgt. John Szewczyk, Suzio said his proposed Bill 428 would make anyone convicted of any violent offense or sexual offense ineligible to earn risk reduction release credits in prison.

The bill received a Mar. 20 public hearing in the legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

The RREC program in its current form, Suzio said, endangers the public by allowing those who are convicted of violent and sexual offenses to earn risk reduction release credits while in prison Up to five days can be taken off their sentences each month.

“Gov. Malloy’s early release program for violent offenders has been a failure,” Suzio said. “Violent felons are getting out of prison early and they are committing murders, rapes, and other horrible crimes. They are not being reformed and we have the statistics to prove it. It’s a revolving door. This year, we have an opportunity to increase this program’s effectiveness. Let’s seize that opportunity, let’s end early release for violent offenders, and let’s stop jeopardizing the safety of our families.”

Through a Freedom of Information request, Suzio acquired from the State of Connecticut data pertaining to the first 64 months after the RREC program’s implementation in 2011. Suzio discovered that nearly 112 sexual assaults and 87 homicides, murders or acts of manslaughter were charged to prisoners after they were discharged early from prison.

“These numbers are astounding,” Suzio said. “Very serious crimes are being committed by discharged prisoners every week. This averages out to more than a murder per month and nearly two rapes every month. The information is too important to overlook.”

Suzio noted that the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) is currently violating state law. Public Act 15-216 mandates the quarterly publishing of data regarding recidivism and the nature of crimes committed by inmates who were discharged. However, the DOC is not disclosing data pertaining to inmates charged with crimes following their early discharge from prison and the nature of those crimes. Suzio called on state officials to “stop the stonewalling” and abide by the law.

The public can support Suzio’s proposal by:

Suzio represents Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown and Rockfall. He can be reached at 800-842-1421.